Nintendo starts fiscal year off with a bang

First quarter results put the company's good fortunes in perspective as sales double, profits quintuple.

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Right about this time last year, Nintendo was touting its surging financial fortunes. The release of the DS Lite had the company posting a massive 85 percent jump in revenues year-over-year for its first fiscal quarter. Meanwhile, profits had risen more than 10 percent from the same period the year before.

Today Nintendo released first-quarter results for its current fiscal year, and the numbers are even bigger thanks to the success of the Wii. For the three months ended June 30, 2007, Nintendo reported revenues of 340.4 billion yen ($2.8 billion), an increase of more than 160 percent over the prior year's first-quarter tally of 130.9 billion yen ($1.1 billion). Profits likewise soared, with the company winding up 80.3 billion yen ($667.4 million) in the black for the quarter, a 416 percent increase over the previous Q1's 15.6 billion yen ($129.3 million).

During the quarter, the DS enjoyed continued strength, selling nearly 7 million systems in the three-month period, bringing the lifetime-to-date total to 47.3 million units sold worldwide. Nintendo attributed the US releases of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl as helping the DS games rack up worldwide sales of nearly 3.6 million for the quarter. The company also said older DS releases like Nintendogs, Brain Age, and New Super Mario Bros. continued to sell well.

On the console front, Nintendo sold more than 3.4 million Wii systems for the quarter, bringing the system's lifetime total to almost 9.3 million systems sold worldwide in less than eight months of release. Super Paper Mario and Mario Party 8 were the top new releases for the system for the three months, with Wii Play and Wii Sports (which does not come bundled with the system in Japan) leading catalog sales.

The success of both the Wii and DS prompted Nintendo to boost its financial forecasts for the full year. The publisher now expects total revenues to hit 1.4 trillion yen ($11.6 billion) instead of a bit over 1.1 trillion yen ($9.5 billion). Net profits are also projected to top the previous 175 billion yen ($1.5 billion) estimate and reach 245 billion yen ($2 billion).

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