A Super Mario figure is displayed at a showroom in Tokyo, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co. has reported fiscal first quarter profit dipped to about half of what it was the previous year despite improved sales as an unfavorable exchange rate eroded earnings. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Nintendo profit drops on exchange rate despite sales boost

July 30, 2019 - 1:56 am

TOKYO (AP) — Nintendo Co.'s fiscal first quarter profit dipped to about half of what it was a year earlier despite improved sales as an unfavorable exchange rate eroded earnings, the Japanese video game maker said Tuesday.

Nintendo's April-June quarter profit totaled 16.6 billion yen ($153 million), down from 30.6 billion yen the year before. Quarterly sales rose 2% to 172 billion yen ($1.6 billion).

Kyoto-based Nintendo sold 2.13 million Nintendo Switch machines for the period, up from 1.88 million in the same period of the previous year.

The Switch is a hybrid game machine that works both as a console and a tablet. More than 36.87 million consoles have been sold since sales began about two years ago.

Nintendo's forecasts for the fiscal year were unchanged at 180 billion yen ($1.7 billion) profit on 1.25 trillion yen ($11.5 billion) sales.

Nintendo, which makes Super Mario and Pokemon games, said its game software "Super Mario Maker 2," released in June was selling well, as are games from outside software makers such as "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe."

More games are planned for later in the year, such as "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening," according to Nintendo. Nintendo also plans to start selling a compact and lightweight version of Nintendo Switch called Nintendo Switch Lite for on-the-go playing.

Switch sales for the last fiscal year totaled 17 million machines, falling short of the company's goal of 20 million. Nintendo stuck to its sales forecast for this fiscal year, which runs through March 2020, at 18 million Switch machines.

Nintendo has been diversifying its business, such as theme park facilities and merchandise featuring Nintendo characters like Pikachu.

It also offers games for smart devices, a move it resisted at start for years, allowing its characters to only appear in games designed for Nintendo game machines.

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