Nintendo profits surge on weaker yen and smartphone success

Ashley Coates
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Pokemon Go Launches In The UK
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The falling yen, the sale of a baseball team, and Pokemon Go revenue, have all offset a decline in sales at the games giant Nintendo.

The Japanese firm reported profits of 64.7bn yen (£456m) in the final quarter of last year.

Nintendo’s profit outlook almost has almost doubled this year, and it is now expecting a 90bn yen (£632m) net profit for the year ending March 2017.

Nintendo also reported a falling operating profit and overall sales, attributed to poor uptake of its Wii U console.

Since Trump’s presidential election victory in November, the prospect of corporate tax cuts and stimulus measures in the US have been credited with the rise in value of the US dollar, which has risen 15 per cent against the yen. Despite the international appeal of Nintendo’s platforms and characters, the company makes 75 per cent of its profits in its home country.

The game maker also sold its stake in a US baseball team, the Seattle Mariners, in 2016, having acquired a majority stake in the Major League team back in 1992.

Nintendo benefits from the success of Pokemon Go through its 30 per cent stake in the Pokemon Company as well as its investment in Niantic, the US-based developer that released Pokemon Go last year.

Competition in the marketplace for games consoles have taken a toll on Nintendo in recent years, leading the games maker to abandoned its consoles-only policy and branch into smartphone video games at the end of last year. Super Mario Run, the group’s first mobile gaming app, was released in December last year and has seen 78m downloads so far.

Industry analysts are now looking to the March launch of Nintendo’s new console, known as the Switch. A higher-than-anticipated launch price for the console, expected to be around $300 per unit, has been cited as the primary cause the 6 per cent fall in Nintendo’s share price since mid-January.

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