Nintendo misses FY2013 profit forecast by 50 percent

A weaker yen helped lift Nintendo back to profit for the fiscal year ending March 31, but it misses its forecast of 14 billion yen (US$142 million) following worse than expected sales of its latest game console Wii U.

Nintendo has missed its profit forecast by half largely due to disappointing sales of its latest game console Wii U.

wii U
New titles this year are expected to help drive sales of the Wii U. (credit: Nintendo)

For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, the games console giant posted a net profit of 7.1 billion yen (US$71 million) below its forecast of 14 billion yen (US$142 million) , according to results released Thursday. In the previous year, Nintendo had made a net loss of 43.2 billion yen (US$434 million)--its second straight annual loss. For FY13, sales dipped 2 percent dip to 635.4 billion yen (US$6.3 billion).

"Wii U was not able to maintain the initial sales momentum after the beginning of 2013 due to a delay in the development of subsequent software titles [after its launch in November]," said the company in a statement. It added 3.45 million units of the new console were sold worldwide.

The Wii U, the successor of its popular 7-year-old Wii console, features a touchscreen controller enabling two-screen gameplay.

Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, expects new titles to help drive console sales this year. He estimates the company will sell 9 million Wii U consoles and 18 million 3DS players this fiscal year, as it introduces top Japanese titles such as "Animal Crossing: New Leaf" in overseas markets.

Nintendo expects net profit to pick up to 55 billion yen (US$553 million) for the next 12 months. It reiterated a 100 billion-yen (US$1 billion) operating profit target. This follows an operating loss of 36.4 billion yen (US$366.4 million) for FY13.