Konami profits jump 77%

Japanese publisher reports $224 million net income during April-Dec. period as sales climb 3 percent to $2.55 billion; social gains offsetting console/handheld declines.

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Konami's games business is having no problems raking in profits, but that success has more to do with its social gaming initiatives than anything going on in the console space. Today, the Japanese company issued its nine-month earnings report, revealing net income for the period was up 77.3 percent year-over-year to ¥17.05 billion ($224 million). Though not nearly as dramatic, sales also grew during the April-December period, rising 3 percent to ¥194.5 billion ($2.55 billion).

High fives! High fives all around!
High fives! High fives all around!

The company saw operating income up in a big way across nearly all of its segments during the reporting period. Digital entertainment, of which its games business is a part, nearly doubled its income contribution to ¥24.3 billion ($319 million) on sales of ¥99.5 billion ($1.31 billion).

However, these gains were largely attributable to its social networking services label, which houses its mobile and casual games. Revenues from this label rose from ¥9.7 billion ($127 million) during the first nine months of 2010 to ¥26.5 billion ($348 million) during the same period in 2011. Conversely, consumer games (aka console and handheld games) saw sales fall from ¥52.5 billion ($689 million) to ¥35.4 million ($465 million) over comparable periods.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 proved to be Konami's best-performing consumer title during the period, as its soccer business sold 5.43 million units from April-December. The Metal Gear franchise sold 1.21 million units during the period, followed by its baseball and music games at 1.16 million and 1.14 million units, respectively.

Beyond its traditional console and handheld gaming segment, Konami said that it was also experiencing a measure of success with its social games. The segment now has more than 15 million active players, with Dragon Collection and Sengoku Collection called out as top-performing titles.

On the back of its strong nine-month performance, Konami also said today that it has revised its full-year earnings projections upward. The publisher now expects revenues to reach ¥265 billion ($3.48 billion) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. Net income expectations have been boosted to ¥22 billion ($289 million), which would signify a 70 percent rise over its previous fiscal year.

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