Konami grows full-year finances

Metal Gear Solid 4 publisher sees 6 percent revenue growth to $2.8 billion on strong games business; profits jump 13 percent to $175 million.

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Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots' release date was nailed down in February, and since then, more than a few PlayStation 3 gamers have been counting down the seconds until that June 12 launch. Likewise, Konami and Kojima Productions have had reasons of their own to pace out the days. Whereas gamers are looking forward to hopping into the well-worn boots of Solid Snake and Hideo Kojima's MGS swan song, Konami's undoubtedly got its eye on the potential revenue spikes that the just-golden game will usher in.

However, even without the heavily anticipated PlayStation 3 game, Konami did quite well for itself during its fiscal 2008 year, which ended March 31. Reporting on its full-year financial performance today, the Tokyo-based publisher said that revenues grew by 6.1 percent, a pace that nearly matched the previous year, to ¥297 billion ($2.8 billion).

Although sales growth remained consistent, the publisher saw a dramatic turnaround in profit. Whereas net income took a dive during fiscal 2007, dropping some 29 percent on the year, 2008 profits experienced a double-digit uptick of 13 percent, rising to ¥18.3 billion ($175 million) on the year.

Digital entertainment--Konami's gaming business--far and away led the publisher's efforts for its fiscal year, amounting to ¥179 billion ($1.7 billion) of the company's revenue. Games cited by Konami as performing especially well for the year were sports franchises Proyakyu Spirits 4, Jikkyou Pawafuru Puroyakyu 14, J. League Winning Eleven 2007 Club Championship, and World Soccer Winning Eleven 2008. Addressing the North American market specifically, Konami said that Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party, released for the Wii in September, has remained "popular as ever."

The gaming industry on the whole has exhibited a strong forward momentum, and Konami expects to continue riding that wave into its next fiscal year. For the year ending March 31, 2009, the Japanese publisher expects to grow revenue to ¥330 billion ($3.1 billion), with net income projected to hit ¥26 billion ($248 million).

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