Nintendo reports 3m Wii U sales, lowers annual revenue forecast by 17%

Nintendo reports 3m Wii U sales, lowers annual revenue forecast by 17%

After selling just 3 million units of its new Wii U console in the December quarter, Japanese gaming firm Nintendo has lowered its profit forecast (PDF) again, this time expecting an operating loss of $220 million (20 billion yen) and net income of just $1.20 (109 yen) per share for its fiscal year, which ends on March 31.

For the first nine months of the year, Nintendo posted $5.97 billion (543 billion yen) in revenue, a decline of 2.4% compared with the year-ago period. Overall, the company’s performance is an improvement from last year. It has $160 million (14.5 billion yen) in net income so far this year, compared to a loss of $530 million (48 billion) in the first nine months of the previous fiscal year.

The company slashed its revenue forecast from $8.91 billion (810 billion yen) to $7.37 billion (670 billion yen), though it does have better expectations for its net income, partly due to a weakening yen. The grimmer sales outlook comes as it expects fewer sales of its gaming devices. Nintendo now sees itself (PDF) selling 4 million Wii U consoles for the year, down from a previous estimate of 5.5 million. That means it expects to move just 1 million Wii U units in the March quarter. The company is also forecasting 15 million 3DS units for the year, instead of 17.5 million.

Last October, Nintendo dramatically cut its profit forecast by 70% to  $70 million (6 billion yen). It appears that was too aggressive, since it now expects to make $160 million at the end of this fiscal year.

The company’s hopes are tied up in the Wii U console, which arrived late last year, but the lowered sales forecasts for the device suggest that it isn’t doing as well as Nintendo had originally planned. The company is believed to be preparing to merge its handheld and console teams in an effort to regain control of the gaming market.

Image credit: Frederic Brown / Getty Images

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