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Friday, October 9, 1998 Published at 08:43 GMT 09:43 UK

Business: The Company File

Sorry Sega's profits slump

Sega has been hit be fierce competition from its arch rivals

Sega, the Japanese computer games giant, has warned that its profits will collapse by 76% in the six months to September.

Sega has suffered in the face of the intense competition form Sony and Nintendo which have both introduced powerful new games consoles, the Sony Playstation and the Nintendo 64.

The company also downgraded its profit forecasts for the year to March 1999 from ¥8bn to ¥6.2bn ($50m).

New launch

Sega is due to release its own new games console, Dreamcast, next month.

It is billed as the most powerful on the market and will provide Internet access.

However the launch of Dreamcast has already created problems for Sega.

It has had to pay out ¥1.3bn to settle a lawsuit from 3DFX, a US graphics company that was working on the new console before Sega controversially switched suppliers last year.

Sega also said its profits in the first half were hit by ¥3.3bn in unrealised losses on its stock holdings, as the Nikkei stock index has dived to near 13 year lows.

Sega's shares fell 8% on the Tokyo stock market.

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