Nintendo half-year net profit rockets 243.6%, forecasts revised up

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Nintendo's outstanding performance has been helped by the success of its Switch console
Nintendo's outstanding performance has been helped by the success of its Switch console

Japanese gaming giant Nintendo said Thursday its first-half net profit soared 243.6 percent on-year, while it upgraded its full-year sales and profit forecasts, with coronavirus lockdowns driving extraordinary demand.

The gaming industry has been one of the few sectors to thrive during the pandemic, with people forced to stay at home turning to games for some escapism and to pass time.

That has translated into soaring sales and demand, with Nintendo saying its bottom line profit jumped to 213.1 billion yen ($2.0 billion) for the six months to September.

Sales climbed 73.3 percent to 769.5 billion yen.

With the holiday season approaching, and a new wave of infections forcing governments in Europe and elsewhere to reinstate lockdowns, Nintendo upgraded its net profit forecast to 300 billion yen for the fiscal year to March 2021 from an earlier estimate of 200 billion yen.

Full-year sales now are projected at 1.4 trillion yen, compared with 1.2 trillion yen forecast earlier.

The brisk results come on the back of runaway success of the firm's Switch console and its hit "Animal Crossing" game.

The leisurely game has struck a chord with players around the world, many of them enjoying a virtual release from the restrictions on movement and social activity imposed to contain coronavirus.

si/sah/dan