Nintendo surprises with big earnings rise

Customers play with Nintendo's videogame console Wii U at an electronics shop in Tokyo. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Nintendo posts a hugely incxreased profit in its latest half-year results, beating market expectations

Japanese video game giant Nintendo beat market expectations to post net income of 14.3bn yen ($132m; £82m) in the April-to-September period.

In the same period a year ago, the firm made a 600m-yen profit.

Announcing the half-yearly results, Nintendo said that it was on track to post its first annual profit in four years.

The console game maker has struggled in recent years, facing stiff competition from video games on mobile devices.

The maker of hit games such as Super Mario Bros stood by its forecast of a full-year operating profit of 40bn yen.

A weaker yen boosted its earnings and offset slowing sales, the company said on Thursday.

The company said its net profit soared as a result of exchange gains totalling 15.5bn yen.

Game sales

Sales of its latest game console Wii U more than doubled from a year ago in the six-month period to 1.1 million units, driven by release of a new game, Mario Kart 8, in May.

The once dominant console maker had lost its crown at the top of the market to tech giants Sony and Microsoft, but was still hopeful that the popular Mario franchise would continue to reignite sales.

It expects to sell 3.6 million consoles throughout the upcoming holiday season to March next year.

In other tech earnings from Japan, Hitachi said its net profit from April to September almost tripled to 91.45bn yen from a year earlier.

The big jump led the company to raise its full-year net profit forecast by almost 9% to 250bn yen.

Meanwhile, South Korean firm LG Electronics reported its third-quarter profit jumped 87% from a year earlier, as it sold a record 16.8 million smartphones.

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