Sega Sammy posts profits, Bayonetta platinum

Sega parent ends year $218.5 million in the black as high-heeled shooter, Aliens vs. Predator, and Sega All-Stars Racing top 1 million each; Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games tops 6 million.

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Sega Sammy's latest annual financial report bore both good news and bad news for investors. For the full fiscal year ended March 31, 2010, the Sega parent company posted sinking revenues for the fourth straight year, but turned a net profit for the first time in the same time span.

Platinum is a gun-toting witch's best friend.
Platinum is a gun-toting witch's best friend.

While most of the turnaround could be attributed to the company's surging pachislot business, the consumer business (Sega console and PC games) contributed positively to the bottom line. The game division posted an operating profit of ¥6.3 billion ($68.1 million), compared to a ¥900 million ($9.7 million) operating loss for the previous year.

However, revenues were down 7.5 percent to ¥121.5 billion ($1.3 billion) for the year, with Sega citing weak demand in the US and Europe as a main cause. Moving forward, the publisher said it "needs to adapt to [a] changing business environment" with an expanded emphasis on social networking services and smartphones.

As for the games themselves, Sega Sammy updated sales figures for a number of recent releases. First and foremost, the publisher revealed that Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games for the Wii and DS has sold 6.53 million copies in the US and Europe. (Nintendo publishes the game in Japan.) The mascot minigame collection wasn't the only Sega title to break the million-unit mark, as Aliens vs. Predator racked up 1.69 million sold and Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing sold 1.07 million copies, both across the US and Europe.

Bayonetta was the company's only worldwide hit, as the Platinum Games-developed actioner sold 1.35 million copies in the US, Europe, and Japan. A pair of Japan-only releases also performed well, with Phantasy Star Portable 2 on the PSP selling 600,000 and Yakuza 4 for the PS3 breaking 560,000.

For the full year, Sega Sammy posted a ¥20.2 billion ($218.5 million) net profit, compared to the previous year's ¥22.8 billion ($246.6 million) net loss. While the bottom line improved, sales were down more than 10 percent year-over-year to ¥384.6 billion ($4.2 billion). Sega Sammy annual revenues have been on the decline since the year ended March 31, 2006.

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