Square Enix earnings mixed, no FFXIII 'til '08?

Final Fantasy maker rakes in record sales, but profit falls; unconfirmed reports say PS3 RPG won't be out until next spring--at the earliest.

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Two weeks after its massive Gamers' Day outside Tokyo, Square Enix has reported its earnings for its 2006 fiscal year, which ended March 31, 2007. The prior 12 months saw the company's revenue soar 31.3 percent year-on-year to 163.4 billion yen ($1.3 billion), its best-ever annual haul.

Operating profit for the fiscal year was 25.9 billion yen ($213.1 million), up from 15.47 billion yen ($127.21 million). However, due to the vagaries of finance, the company's net profit of 11.62 billion yen ($95.54 million) was actually down 32 percent. That's because during the past fiscal year, the company only had 3.0 billion yen ($24.6 million) in tax write-offs, versus 9.0 billion yen ($74.1 million) the prior year.

In total, Square Enix shipped 16.9 million units of software to retailers during its last fiscal year. As a result its packaged games operating income of 16.3 billion yen ($134.1 million) on 51.3 billion yen ($422.1 million) in net revenue, up from 9.6 billion yen ($78.9 million) on 45.9 billion yen ($377.4 million) the year before. Online games saw 6.8 billion yen ($55.9 million) in operating income on 13.7 billion yen ($112.7 million) in net revenue, up from 5.9 billion yen ($48.5 million) on 15.7 billion yen ($129.1 million) the previous annum.

The AFX news service quoted Square Enix chief financial officer Yosuke Matsuda as saying, "Packaged game sales did well, in particular in North America and Europe, led by such titles as Final Fantasy XII."

Of more interest to gamers is what Square Enix has planned for its next fiscal year--or, more accurately, what it doesn't have planned. According to several online reports--most stemming from an IGN translation--Square Enix president Yoichi Wada told a press conference that Final Fantasy XIII would not ship during Square Enix's current financial year.

"It will take a bit more time," Wada reportedly said about FFXIII. "At the very least, this fiscal year is definitely out of the question." When contacted by GameSpot, Square Enix USA reps claimed they were unaware of Wada's comments and were waiting on official word. "We'll get a translation to you as soon we receive one," was all a rep would say.

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