Kyoto (Japan) - Nintendo today surprised analysts by posting a 48% increase in profits and a 70% jump in revenues, primarily due to its hugely popular DS game console. The company sold 10.09 million units in the first half of its fiscal year - and expects to sell six million Wii's until March 2007.
Sales reached 298.82 billion yen ($2.51 billion), up from in the six months ended Sept. 30, up from 176.36 billion yen a year earlier. Net earnings climbed to 54.35 billion yen ($457 million) from 36.63 billion yen in the same time frame. Despite increasing competitive pressure from rival Sony, shipments of its DS handheld gaming system almost tripled from 3.57 million to 10.09 million. Nintendo said that it plans to sell about 20 million units during the entire fiscal year.
While Sony's PSP console appears to be recovering in sales with more game titles and new application models, Nintendo's was able to reach new user groups with its DS device, which not only appeals to the typical gaming audience, but also offers content for younger and older males as well as females.
Nintendo also could become the big winner of the third generation game console launch frenzy in November. While Sony has limited its initial PS3 supply to 500,000 units, Nintendo is confident that it can sell six million Wii's during the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2007. Nintendo estimates that more than 17 million Wii games will be sold in the same time frame.