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Nintendo ups profit forecast on strong Switch sales

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Tokyo (AFP)

Nintendo hiked its annual net profit forecast by more than 40 percent Wednesday after its popular Switch console flew off shelves during the holiday season, fuelled by a cheaper yen.

The Kyoto-based video game giant said it now expects annual net profit of 120 billion yen ($1.1 billion), a 41.2-percent rise from the previous forecast issued in October, while also raising its annual sales and operating profit projections.

Nintendo now expects to sell 15 million Switch units by March, an increase of one million from the previous forecast -- which was already an upgrade from an earlier projection to sell as many as 10 million units.

"For the nine months ended December 31, 2017, the Nintendo Switch hardware sold well following the launch and sales volume rose substantially during the holiday season," the company said in a brief statement.

The company now expects annual sales of 1.02 trillion yen and an operating profit of 160 billion yen, again marking sizable increases from earlier estimates.

Switch, which can be played both at home and on the move, blends Nintendo's console and handheld device business with its fledgling mobile gaming strategy, which scored a big brand win with Pokemon Go's success in the summer of 2016.

For the April-December period, Nintendo said net profit reached 135 billion yen, up 31.3 percent from the same period in the previous financial year.

During the nine months, the firm's operating profit soared to 156 billion yen from 26 billion yen in the previous year.

Sales during the period also more than doubled to 857 billion yen.

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