Nintendo lifts profit guidance on weaker yen, sees slower console sales

By Kiyoshi Takenaka

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese videogame maker Nintendo Co Ltd cut its full-year Switch sales projection by nearly 10% after microchip shortages constrained console production, but it raised its annual net profit forecast thanks to a softer yen.

Nintendo, which earns about 80% of its revenues overseas, expects its net profit to come to 400 billion yen ($2.73 billion) for the year to March 2023, up from the previous forecast of 340 billion yen.

The new projection still falls short of the consensus forecast of a 463 billion yen profit, based on a Refinitiv poll of 21 analysts.

The creator of such blockbuster titles as “Super Mario Bros.” and “Legend of Zelda” cut its Switch console sales forecast for the business year to 19 million units from 21 million.

Crucial year-end shopping season

Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said, however, that chip supply had begun recovering in recent months, helping boost Switch production. The industry is heading into the crucial year-end shopping season.

“From October on, we have been manufacturing (Switch) at a rapid pace …. Our outlook is a little brighter now than at the start of the business year,” Furukawa told an online briefing.

The Kyoto-based company changed its assumption for the dollar-yen rate to 135 from 115 to reflect the sharp depreciation of the Japanese currency this year.

In July-September, Nintendo sold 3.25 million units of its Switch console, down from 3.83 million a year earlier. The console is in its sixth year on the market.

Nintendo’s software sales in the three-month period rose 11% to 54 million units, however, helped by strong demand for the latest “Splatoon” title.

The company has said “Splatoon 3”, in which players engage in an inky turf battle, had sold more than 3.45 million units in Japan in the three days following its Sept. 9 launch, Nintendo’s highest-ever domestic launch sales.

($1 = 146.7700 yen)