Capcom posts rising sales, profits

Publisher's year-end results show that not even a sagging arcade business can offset gains made by lineup featuring Resident Evil 4 Wii, Devil May Cry 4.

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While other publishers chase the nontraditional market with minigame collections and brain training knock-offs, Capcom spent the last year riding core gamer genres to respectably growing sales and profits. The publisher today announced its year-end results, and cited the latest installments in its survival horror and gothic action series as prime performers at retail.

Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles for the Wii, and Devil May Cry 4 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were among the games Capcom singled out in its full-year financial report today for the 12 months ended March 31, 2008. While the two zombie-slaying games for Nintendo's system "greatly exceeded" the company's sales projections, Devil May Cry 4 "achieved record sales for Capcom in recent years," selling more than 2 million copies worldwide.

Portable gaming also saw a handful of successes for Capcom. The company's Japanese PlayStation Portable Monster Hunter Freedom 2nd G also sold well, surpassing the million-unit mark despite being released at the tail end of the fiscal year. Meanwhile, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney became the best-selling installment in the Phoenix Wright franchise, selling more than 500,000 copies.

Full-year revenues for Capcom were ¥83 billion, up 11 percent from the previous year's nearly ¥74.5 billion. Net income also saw an uptick, as the publisher wound up netting ¥7.8 billion for the year, up 33 percent from the prior year's ¥5.9 billion.

Capcom had to overcome a slumping arcade business to post those gains. The company's arcade game sales were down more than 18 percent for the year, partly because "the market was shrinking drastically due to the weakening demand and decrease in purchasing power of arcade operators." Capcom's own arcade operating segment also struggled, as its operating profits plunged 63 percent to ¥753 million on slightly increased (less than 3 percent) sales of ¥13.4 billion.

Capcom's board of directors also commemorated the company's 25th anniversary, which occurs June 11. To celebrate the occasion and thank shareholders, the publisher will be upping the dividend paid to them for the first half of this year from ¥15 per share to ¥20 per share.

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