Nintendo reports 1Q loss on discounts, strong yen

TOKYO (AP) — Nintendo Co. reported a net loss of 17.2 billion yen ($221 million) for the April-June quarter, hurt by product discounts and the strong yen.

That was smaller than the net loss of 25.5 billion yen in the same quarter a year earlier, but the company said Wednesday that fiscal first quarter sales still fell nearly 10 percent to 84.8 billion yen.

After slashing the price of its 3DS game console last August, the Kyoto-based game maker has been selling it at a loss. Such price cuts are relatively common to boost slow sales. Sometimes profit is recouped later from increased game software sales.

Nintendo official Yasuhiro Minagawa said that as of this week, the company was no longer selling the 3DS at a loss because mass production has brought down production costs.

Nintendo, whose products compete against offerings from Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp., aims for a net profit of 20 billion yen for the business year through March 2013.

The Kyoto-based company hopes for strong sales of two new products to be launched this year. The 3DS XL, a larger-screen version of the 3DS, goes sale this Saturday in Japan and Europe and on Aug. 19 in the U.S. It will also have a new version of the Wii called Wii U, in time for the year-end shopping season.

Nintendo said it sold 1.86 million 3DS consoles worldwide for the quarter, with software sales reaching 7.39 million units, including the Mario Tennis Open, launched this past quarter.

Sales of DS hardware were a disappointing 540,000 while sales of the Wii reached 710,000, it said.

Nintendo, whose overseas sales accounted for 61 percent of total sales, also got hit by the strong yen, which erodes overseas income when repatriated. Foreign exchange losses totaled 21.1 billion yen during the quarter, it said.

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