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Namco Bandai swings to ¥1.8 billion profit

Ninja Theory's Enslaved: Odyssey To The West passes 700,000 units sales

Namco Bandai has announced its full year financial results for the 12 months ending March 31st, with sales rising by 4.1 per cent to ¥394.1 billion ($4.88bn / €3.40bn) on a net profit of ¥1.8 billion ($22.3m / €15.5m).

The results are an improvement on last year, when the company posted net losses ¥29.9 billion ($370.4m / €257.8m). Operating income was up by a massive 767.3 per cent to ¥16.3 billion ($201.9m / €140.5m).

Although Namco Bandai has not offered an English language commentary on the results, their published data reveals that video game sales, including home and arcade, were static at ¥179.9 billion ($2.23bn / €1.55bn), but in line with expectations.

However, operating profits for the division were up 201 per cent to ¥3.1 billion ($38.4m / €26.7m). Although sales for the two divisions are similar the company's most profitable area continues to be Toys and Hobby - a legacy of Bandai rather than Namco - with an operating profit of ¥13.8 billion ($171m / €119m).

Japan remains by far the most important region for the company overall, with ¥312.4 billion ($3.87bn / €2.69bn) sales and operating income of ¥23.6 billion ($292.3m / €203.5m). North and South American sales stood at just ¥28.0 billion ($346.9m / €241.5m), with an operating loss of ¥5.7 billion ($70.6m / €49.2m). European sales were ¥37.0 billion ($458.3m / €319.1m) with an operating loss of ¥1.2 billion ($14.9m / €10.3m).

Home and portable game sales specifically saw less regional variation though, with 9.5 million unit sales in Japan, 6.5 million in the U.S. and 5 million in Europe.

2009's Tekken 6 continued to be the company's best seller throughout 2010, with 1.2 million sales. Licensed games Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien were the next highest performers on 1.1 million and 0.8 million, respectively.

Enslaved: Odyssey To The West, by UK developer Ninja Theory sold 730,000 units - still short of the 1 million hoped for by Namco prior to its release.

For the current financial year Namco Bandai is predicting a modest 1.5 per cent increase in sales to ¥400 billion ($4.96bn/€3.45bn), but a massive 332.8 per cent increase in net profits to ¥8 billion ($99.1m/€69.0m).

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David Jenkins