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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 August, 2003, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
GameBoy sales boost Nintendo
Teenagers playing on a Nintendo GameBoy
GameBoy sales helped lift Nintendo profits
Nintendo, the Japanese games maker, has credited strong sales of its latest handheld GameBoy for robust profits in the past three months.

The group said profits for the three months to the end of June had hit 11.45bn yen ($95m; 59.4m).

It gave no year-ago comparisons because this is the first time the company is reporting quarterly results.

But managing director Yoshihiro Mori said sales were up 5% on the same period last year. Nintendo added it had sold 3.24 million units of its GameBoy Advance (GBA), which had helped offset weak demand for its GameCube consoles.

Only 80,000 GameCubes were sold during the period, amid stiff competition from Sony's Playstation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox.

In May, the firm had said it hoped to sell 20 million GBA machines and six million GameCube machines worldwide by the end of its current financial year.

Nonetheless, the Kyoto-based company stuck to its forecast of profits of 65bn yen for the year - despite being hit by a 37% fall in profits last year.

Pokemon success

The successful US launch of its Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire games for the GBA, along with their robust performance in Japan, helped lift profits.

Analysts are keenly awaiting a conference on Thursday when group president Satoru Iwata is set to discuss Nintendo's business strategy.

But some were already concerned by the numbers.

"The weak sales of GameCube were rather shocking," said Takeshi Tajima, a games analyst at BNP Paribas.

Sony has hacked away at the firm's dominance in the home console market, with its PlayStation2 now in five times as many homes as the GameCube.

Nintendo's main rival is now also squaring up for battle in the handheld devices market, with plans to launch its PSP machine by the end of 2004.


SEE ALSO:
GameCube 'may die out'
22 May 03  |  Business
Nintendo puts its faith in games
22 May 03  |  Technology
Sony to launch portable console
14 May 03  |  Business
Awards boost for Nintendo
26 Apr 03  |  Technology
GameCube squares up for a fight
24 Mar 03  |  Technology


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