Namco Bandai annual profit up 71 percent

Marriage of game publisher and toymaker paying off to the tune of 24.2 billion yen; game division sells 23.4 million units worldwide.

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It appears that the marriage of Namco Games and Bandai Inc. is paying off. More than a year and a half after the two companies formally merged, Namco Bandai Holdings Inc. has reported a banner year. For the fiscal year ended March 31, the company reported a net profit of a 24.2 billion yen (around $201.5 million) on revenue of 459.1 billon yen ($3.82 billion)--a 71 percent increase over the prior year.

The biggest revenue driver for the massive amusement company was its home video sector. "Sales of the DVD box featuring our original Mobile Suit Gundam TV animation series was a smash hit beyond our wild expectations, which boosted profit margin," Namco Bandai president Takeo Takasu said at a Tokyo news conference, according to the AFX News service.

Not that the company's game division fared poorly; during the 12 months, Namco Bandai Games had 138.2 billion yen ($1.15 billion) in net sales, a 6.4 percent rise. The sector enjoyed 11.5 billion yen ($95 million) in operating income, an 18.6 percent increase, year over year.

During the year ending March 31, some 23.4 million Namco Bandai Games titles were sold worldwide. Of those, 13.5 million were for consoles, and 9.8 were for handhelds. The company's top SKU for the year was Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (PlayStation 2 - 1.18 million units), followed by Tekken: Dark Resurrection (PlayStation Portable - 1.0 million) and Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop 2 (DS - 871,000).

Rounding out Namco Bandai Games' top 10 were: Tekken 5 Platinum (PS2 - 737,000), Naruto: Ultimate Ninja (PS2 - 650,000), Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny Plus (PS2 - 531,000), Super Dragon Ball Z (PS2 - 466,000), Ace Combat Zero (PS2 - 444,000), Dragon Ball Z Shin Budokai (PSP - 415,000), and now-budget-priced Soul Calibur III (PS2 404,000).

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