Nintendo again revises earnings outlook higher

Nintendo has revised its full-year earnings outlook higher for the second time citing strong sales of DS hardware and software and favorable exchange rates

Japan's Nintendo has revised its full-year earnings outlook higher for the second time.

The Kyoto-based company said strong sales of its Nintendo DS handheld game device and software for the machine would help push sales for the year to YEN 966 billion (US$8.2 billion as of March 31, the last day of the period being forecast). In October last year Nintendo forecast sales of YEN 740 billion for the year and revised that figure upwards to about YEN 900 billion in January of this year.

Nintendo's financial year runs from April to March and the company is due to report its results on April 26.

A foreign exchange gain of YEN 20 billion is also on the cards as a result of the weaker than expected Japanese yen. Nintendo's forecast had assumed an exchange rate of about YEN 115 to the US dollar and YEN 143 to the euro but year-end exchange rates were YEN 118 to the dollar and YEN 157 to the euro. That means that Nintendo ends up with more yen than expected when it converts profits made in other countries.

Nintendo is riding high at present thanks to two hit products. The handheld DS is still selling very well despite being on sale for more than a year. The Wii console, which was launched in November, has also proved to be popular thanks to its unique motion-sensitive wireless controllers. The Wii is proving a stiff challenge for the larger and more powerful PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in many markets.

In January Nintendo predicted sales of the DS in the year to the end of March would be 2.3 million units worldwide. That was an increase from its previous target of 2 million units. DS software sales were forecast to be 10 million units and Wii console sales were predicted to be 2.1 million units.

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Martyn Williams

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