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Increased profits and $1.5bn sales kick off Nintendo's financial year

Platform holder maintains forecast as Switch lifetime sales reach 19.7 million consoles, 86.93 million games

Nintendo's fiscal year is off to a strong start, despite the perceived lack of tentpole releases during its first quarter.

In the company's report for the three months ended June 30th, net sales were recorded at ¥168.2 billion ($1.5 billion), a 9.1 per cent increase on the ¥154 billion ($1.38 billion) recorded during the same period last year.

Greater gains were seen in both operating and ordinary profit. Operating profit was up almost 90% year-on-year from ¥16.2 billion ($145.4 million) in 2017 to ¥30.5 billion ($274 million) for the most recent quarter. Meanwhile, ordinary profit rose 41 per cent from ¥30.96 billion ($277.9 million) to ¥43.9 billion ($393.6 million).

During this quarter, Nintendo sold 1.88 million Switch units and just shy of 18 million games. The hardware sales are actually 4.4 per cent lower than the same period last year, although software sales have more than doubled.

It's worth remembering Q1 FY2017 was the first full quarter for Nintendo Switch following its launch in March, and was driven by new releases such as Arms, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the growing excitement for launch titles such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

By comparison, some deemed Nintendo's Q1 FY2018 line-up to be less impressive, hinging on Mario Tennis Aces, Wii U port Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and the experimental Nintendo Labo series. However, the platform holder reports each of these have sold more than one million units.

Donkey Kong is the big winner at 1.4 million units sold worldwide, while Mario Tennis Aces follows with 1.38 million (although it should be noted the latter was released in late June, just eight days before the quarter ended). The various Nintendo Labo packs have sold a combined 1.39 million units, and the platform holder added that "sales of popular titles released during the previous fiscal years, and of titles released by other software publishers, are showing steady growth."

Switch's lifetime sales are now up to 19.67 million units - and Nintendo reiterated that it is targeting a further 20 million sales by the end of March 2019. To date, more than 86.93 million games have been sold for Switch, with Nintendo hoping to reach 100 million by the end of the fiscal year.

3DS continues to sell, shifting 360,000 units and 2.95 million games over the course of the quarter. Nintendo also noted "especially good growth" in digital games sales, reported as ¥18.5 billion ($166.1 million) for the quarter - an increase of 68 per cent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, revenues from its mobile games reached ¥9 billion ($80.8 million), a slight uptick of 0.4 per cent compared to the same period last year. The firm's first original IP, Dragalia Lost, is still on course for release this summer, with another confirmation that Mario Kart Tour will be released by the end of the fiscal year.

Despite this strong quarter, Nintendo has opted not to revise its forecasts for the financial year. Net sales are expected to reach ¥1.2 trillion ($10.8 billion) by March 2019, while operating profit is predicted at ¥225 billion ($2.02 billion) and ordinary profit at ¥230 billion ($2.06 billion).

Looking to the quarter ahead, Nintendo hopes for strong sales from Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (another Wii U port) this month and the Nintendo Vehicle Labo Kit in September, plus the launch of Nintendo Switch Online the same month.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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