Nintendo reverses three years of losses to get back in the black

A fourth year of losses has been avoided at Nintendo, despite the Wii U and 3DS failing to meet sales expectations.

Net income for the year ended March 2015 reached 41,843m, up from last year’s 23,222m loss. Operating income reached 24,770m, up on last year’s 46,425m operating loss. Net sales fell 3.8 per cent to 549,780.

Wii U again failed to meet its sales expectations for the year. Nintendo had forecast sales of 3.6m units but in fact Wii U sold 3.38m units in the period.

In the previous year it managed 2.72m units, which was short of Nintendo’s 2.8m prediction – and that, of course, was already a revised forecast, with the company having initially predicted 2014 sales of 9m units for the console.

Wii U’s FY 2015 sales by region saw a decline in Japan from 890k last year to 530k. American sales climbed from 1.29m to 1.85m while ‘other’ sales (including Europe) grew from 550k to 1m.

The bigger disappointment will be 3DS’ failure to meet targets. Nintendo had previously predicted 12m 3DS sales for the year but actual sales reached 8.73m – that’s 27 per cent short. Nintendo blamed sales of older versions of the hardware for the performance.

In total Wii U has now sold 9.54m units and the 3DS 52.06m. The New 3DS XL has to date sold 2.45m units while the smaller New 3DS – which is not available in north America – has sold just 820k.

Software remained Nintendo’s jewel in the crown, with a host of titles performing strongly. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire sold 9.94m units while Super Smash Bros on 3DS shifted 6.75m units. Tomodachi Life, Mario Kart 7 and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask also all passed the 2m sales mark.

On Wii U Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros sold 5.11m and 3.65m units respectively.

Nintendo predicts a slight improvement in Wii U hardware sales for the year ahead at 3.4m units and 3DS unit sales of 7.6m – a decline of 13 per cent.

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