Nintendo profit soars as pandemic boosts gaming market

Nintendo has reported that its fiscal first-half profit more than tripled as people worldwide passed their time playing games while stuck at home during the pandemic.

The Japanese company behind Super Mario and Pokemon said profit for the six months to September soared to 213 billion yen (£1.5 billion), up from 62 billion yen a year ago.

Six-month sales soared to 769 billion yen (£5.6 billion) from 444 billion yen.

Kyoto-based Nintendo said more than five million units of the Super Mario 3D All-Stars game for the Nintendo Switch were sold during the period, and nearly three million units of Paper Mario: The Origami King.

Earlier releases also continued to sell briskly, including Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which has now sold a cumulative 26 million units globally, according to Nintendo.

Nintendo’s online downloads and mobile sales also did well, it said.

The firm said it expects the positive results to continue as games such as Pikmin 3 Deluxe go on sale this year.

Nintendo raised its full-year profit forecast through to March to 300 billion yen (£2.2 billion), up from an earlier projection of 200 billion yen.

This would mark a 16% improvement from 259 billion yen recorded in the previous fiscal year.

Although rising Covid-19 cases have hurt large chunks of the global economy, some sectors such as online retailing and at-home entertainment are booming.