Nintendo profits fall despite strong holiday sales

Nintendo’s holiday sales held up well, indicating that its 20 percent pre-Christmas price cut on the Wii did the trick.

But profits weren’t so hot, with group net income of Y192.6 billion($2.14 billion) for the nine months ended December 31, down nine percent on the previous year.

Operating profit fell 40 percent to Y96.66 billion, partly because of exchange rate fluctuations.

The company hasn’t yet published the figures for the quarter. But it’s clear that holiday sales went particularly well, after a disappointing first half during which it had no particularly successful launches.

New Super Mario Bros Wii sold 10.55 million units between its November release and the end of the year, for example, and the company also managed to shift 11.3 million Wii consoles.

Nintendo says it’s still aiming for 20 million unit sales of the Wii by the end of the fiscal year in March, and has upped its forecast of Wii software sales to 192 million. It’s maintaining its forecast of a net profit of Y230bn for the year.

The results will be a tad disappointing for Sony and Microsoft, which  had probably got their hopes up after Nintendo’s relatively poor performance in the first part of the year.

The company says it’s sold more than 67 million Wii consoles so far, and over 125 million DS handhelds.