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Capcom income surges thanks to stellar games performance

Ultra Street Fighter II on Switch is a "smash hit", making up for "soft" sales of Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite

Capcom has reported operating income of ¥7 billion ($64.5m) for the nine months ending December 31st 2017 - that's a 36.9 per cent year-on-year increase.

It's a big improvement on the 51.9 per cent drop seen in the same period the previous year. The success comes despite a 10.8 per cent drop in net sales to ¥47.7 billion ($439m), which the company blamed on launch delays in its amusements business that result from its continued efforts in tackling those particular choppy waters.

Capcom's games business, which was described as performing strongly, saw an 8.5 per cent increase in net sales and 328.2 per cent jump in operating income. Resident Evil 7 and Monster Hunter XX were both "strong", while Switch release Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers was called a "smash hit". Sales of Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite were "soft", however, despite now reaching one million units worldwide.

Its two other ongoing Monster Hunter games - online title Frontier Z and mobile release Explore - were "solid" and "steady" respectively. Remember, too, that recent release Monster Hunter: World, the numbers for which will be included in the company's full-year report in March, set a series record this week by shipping 5 million units in its first three days on the market. There's also a PC version to follow later this year.

Digital sales now account for 40.1 per cent of Capcom's total, which is in line with trends seen in the wider games industry. Full game downloads for the period were up 20 per cent year-on-year. Capcom's biggest sales growth came in Europe, which offset slight declines in both Japan and North America.

Capcom's arcade division enjoyed more modest growth, with net sales climbing eight per cent to ¥7.6 billion ($70.2m) and operating income jumping 33.4 per cent to hit ¥815 million ($7.5m). The rise was credited to increased engagement from female players and tourists. Two new arcades were also opened during the period, although one was also closed.

The pachinko and pachislot business continues to "struggle", with net sales tumbling 53.5 per cent to ¥7.7 billion ($70.9m) and income plummeting 60.7 per cent to ¥2.1 billion ($19.6m).

All of this leads to a predicted fifth consecutive full year of operating income growth, which Capcom now expects to hit ¥14.5 billion ($133.4m) for the year ending March 31st 2018. Net sales are predicted at ¥93 billion ($855.6m).