Nintendo surprises with swing to profit from loss

Nintendo games Image copyright AFP
Image caption Nintendo surprises market watchers with a net profit after posting a loss for the same period a year ago

Japanese video game giant Nintendo beat expectations to swing to a net profit in its fiscal first quarter of this year.

Its net profit was 8.28bn yen ($67m; £43m) in the three months to June as sales in the quarter rose over 20%.

That compares to a net loss of 9.9bn yen in the same period a year ago.

The company's earnings were boosted by the double digit rise in sales on new game releases such as Splatoon for its Wii U console and a weaker yen.

Shooting game Splatoon, where players aim at squid-type creatures, has sold 1.6 million copies after it was released in May.

The game maker also saw strong sales of its "amiibo" figurines which are sold as accessories to its popular games.

"For amiibo, we will continue to expand the product lineup," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 6.3bn yen for the quarter, according to a poll by Reuters.

Losing its leader

The video game pioneer behind popular games like Super Mario Bros has been in the headlines recently after it suffered the loss of its chief executive Satoru Iwata from cancer earlier this month.

One of Mr Iwata's last moves as the head of the company was to lead it towards making games for smartphones after years of resisting investors' calls to do so.

In March, Nintendo announced that it was forming a partnership with Japanese developer DeNA to create new games for the mobile devices.

The company confirmed that its first smartphone games would be release by the end of the year.

It also said that it was still on track to post a net profit of 35bn yen on sales of 570bn yen in the year to March 2016.

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