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Nintendo misses profit target as Wii U and 3DS underperform

Company also reports a second consecutive heavy operating loss

Nintendo missed its annual net profit target by 50 per cent as Wii U and 3DS sales failed to hit prior guidance.

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The firm reported net profit of 7.1 billion yen (£46.8m / $71.4m) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, half of what it forecast in January, but still a significant improvement on the net loss of 43.2 billion yen (£285m / $434m) recorded a year earlier.

Net sales decreased 1.9 per cent year-over-year to 635.4 billion yen (£4.2b / $6.4b), while the company posted an operating loss of 36.4 billion yen (£240.3m / $366.2m) - roughly in line with the previous year's results - "owing to the fact that Wii U hardware sales have a negative impact on Nintendo's profits".

Nintendo said lifetime Wii U sales stood at 3.45 million units as of March 31, missing the firm's most recent guidance of four million units, itself a downwardly revised forecast after the company initially targeted 5.5 million sales for the financial year. Wii U sold three million units in calendar year 2012, meaning only 450,000 units were sold in the first three months of 2013. Nintendo also reported Wii U software sales of 13.42 million units, short of the 16 million forecast in January.

3DS hardware sales were weaker than expected too, coming in at 13.95 million units, short of the 15 million expected in January. 3DS software sales totalled 49.61 million units, just shy of the firm's 50 million target. Lifetime 3DS sales now stand at 31.09 million units, and 3DS software sales at 95.03 million units.

Lifetime Wii sales now stand at 99.84 million units, with software sales of 869.06 million. Lifetime DS sales are 153.87 million units, with software sales of 933.69 million.

For the current business year ending March 31, 2014, Nintendo forecast net sales of 920 billion yen (£6.1b / $9.2b), operating income of 100 billion yen (£660m / $1b) and net profit of 55 billion yen (£362m / $553m). It expects to sell nine million Wii U hardware units and 38 million Wii U games during the period, as well as 18 million 3DS units and 80 million games for the handheld.

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