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Konami full year results show slight drop in profits

Game and social network sales on the rise as publisher commits to NGP and 3DS

Full year financial results for Japanese publisher and developer Konami show a minor drop in sales and profit from the previous year, as the company pledges additional support for 3DS and NGP.

For the 12 months ended March 31 revenues stood at ¥258 billion ($3.19bn/€2.25bn), down 1.6 per cent from the previous year. Net income was also down slightly on 2010, by 2.9 per cent to ¥12.9 billion ($159.6m/€112.5m).

The drops for the company's digital entertainment division, which includes video games, were more marked, with revenues down by 6.7 per cent to ¥133.1 billion ($1.65bn/€1.16bn) - while all of Konami's other divisions, including coin-ops and fitness centres, saw at least a small increase.

Operating income for the digital entertainment division fell from ¥21.5 billion ($266.0m/€187.m) to ¥17.0 billion ($210.3m/€148.4m). However, individually it was only the company's card game, and particularly e-Amusement businesses, which saw a fall in sales.

Consumer games actually experienced a small increase in revenues from ¥64.1 billion ($793.1m/€559.6m) to ¥65.7 billion ($812.9m/€573.7m). Social network services (SNS) also increased from ¥12.7 billion ($157.1m/€110.9m) to ¥15.8 billion ($195.5m/€137.9m).

Konami's categorised its best performing titles of the 12 months as Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.

Unusually for a major publisher the Americas remained Konami's smallest market with only 6.28 million unit sales, although this was a significant increase from 4.99 million the previous year. Japan overtook Europe as Konami's biggest market, at 7.78 million to 7.55 million, but otherwise both markets remained relatively static.

Konami's success in Europe can be primarily attributed to the popularity of the Pro Evolution Soccer series, which sold 7.51 million units during the course of the year - largely unchanged from 7.49 million in 2010. By comparison the Metal Gear franchise accounted for 1.92 million sales and music games for 2.19 million.

The PlayStation 3 remained the company's most successful format, with 27 per cent of sales, followed by the PSP on 20 per cent and the Wii and DS both on 16 per cent.

Describing the year as having a persistently "difficult business climate", Konami's focus for the new financial year is set to be the social games market - with Hudson becoming dedicated to the SNS business.

Konami also intends to release "a wide variety of content for all types of platforms", with the Nintendo 3DS and NGP specifically singled out.

For the new financial year Konami is predicting flat sales of ¥258 billion ($3.19bn/€2.25bn), but with a 25.8 per cent rise in net profits to ¥24 billion ($297.0m/€209.5m).