Earlier this year Nintendo reported losses for Q1, as its poor run of financial results continued. Despite those troubles the company stuck to its projections that it'd return to profit this year while hitting more modest sales goals, and today's Q2 results bring good news in key areas; the company's still sticking to its projections, is back in profit and the Wii U is showing signs of life in the West.
Let's start with the key numbers: between 1st April and 30th September Nintendo's Operating income — the core business of making and selling things — brought a loss of 215 million Yen, which is roughly $2 million / €1.56 million / £1.23 million; that's a substantial improvement over Q1 this year and the equivalent six months in the last financial year. Nintendo did actually make a net profit — so it made money when all is said and done — of 14,300 million Yen, around $132.3 million / €103.8 million / £82 million. The financial report says the following in relation to these figures.
During the six months ended September 30, 2014, for “Nintendo 3DS,” “Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS,” released in Japan in September, showed extremely strong initial sales, and marked 3.22 million units in sales globally, partly because shipments for the October release in the overseas markets began in September. “Tomodachi Life,” released in June in the overseas markets, continued to show steady sales, and marked 1.27 million units in sales worldwide during this fiscal year (3.12 million units on a cumulative basis). As a result, the global sales of the “Nintendo 3DS” hardware and software were 2.09 million and 23.3 million units respectively.
With respect to “Wii U,” Nintendo released “Mario Kart 8” globally in May, which has continued to show steady sales, as well as “Hyrule Warriors,” released in September in the overseas markets, which has gained popularity. The worldwide sales of the “Wii U” hardware and software were 1.12 million units and 9.4 million units respectively
As the above states, there have been solid sales on key titles. Though "exchange rate gains" largely account for the net profit, it's been an impressive reduction in operating losses as the company moves towards the ultimate goal of returning them back to black by the end of the year. Results for New Nintendo 3DS sales don't feature here due to its October launch in Japan, either, though they've been described as "off to a good start".
Below are the overall hardware and software figures, meanwhile, covering 1st April to 30th September.
Hardware Sales (Q1 + Q2) — 1.12 million units (up from 460,000 units in equivalent period last year)
Hardware Sales (life to date) — 7.29 million units
Hardware Sales Projection (2014 to 2015) — 3.6 million units
Software Sales (Q1 + Q2) — 9.4 million units (An increase of 3.1 million units over equivalent period last year)
Software Sales Projection (2014 to 2015) — 20 million units
Hardware Sales (Q1 + Q2) — 2.09 million units (down from 3.89 million in equivalent period last year)
Hardware Sales (life to date) — 45.42 million units
Hardware Sales Projection (2014 to 2015) — 12 million units
Software Sales (Q1 + Q2) — 23.3 million units
Software Sales Projection (2014 to 2015) — 67 million units
Hardware Sales (Q1 + Q2) — 170,000 units
Hardware Sales (life to date) — 101.23 million units
Hardware Sales Projection (2014 to 2015) — 500,000 units
Software Sales (Q1 + Q2) — 1.6 million units
Software Sales Projection (2014 to 2015) — 6.18 million units
DS figures are no longer provided.
A major positive is the Wii U's drastically improved momentum in comparison to last year, undoubtedly helped by games like Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors — Wii U software sales are actually up by over three million units in comparison to Q1 + Q2 last year. While Wii U hardware sales are unfortunately down on the same period last year in Japan, they're well up in North America and Europe; it's a dramatic European improvement, as the equivalent period in the region last year had a negative number due to sales being so low and stock being returned by retailers.
As for the 3DS, much will rest on Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire to hit its target of 12 million system sales this year, as it's had a slow six months that represented a decline over last year. The New Nintendo 3DS will also be vital, and we'd speculate that the company will do its utmost to get the New system in Western stores (Europe and North America) before the end of March next year, in order for those sales to be included in this year's financials.
There are certainly positives, overall, with the company's finances having an improved six months and Wii U momentum going in the right direction ahead of the Holiday arrival of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and the amiibo range.
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