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Nintendo bounces back with better-than-expected profit figures

Nintendo has announced better-than-expected net profit for the first half of the business year, as the company looks to bounce back from disappointing sales of its Wii U console.

The Japanese videogame firm has benefited from the weak yen alongside improved sales figures of self-developed game titles.

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The company, which celebrates its 125th birthday this year, reported a net income of ¥14.3 billion (£82 million) for the April to September period, surpassing analyst estimates of ¥1.39 billion.

Nintendo will hope the encouraging result leads to a return to profit for the current business year after its annual loss in 2013. Industry experts have suggested, however, that the company's performance over the months of October to December, including the crucial Christmas period, will ultimately determine if this year marks a return to form.

The firm also reasserted the importance of its videogame hardware business by keeping its sales targets for the year unchanged. Nintendo intends to sell 3.6 million Wii U consoles by the end of the year and 12 million units of its 3DS hand-held device.

Despite the majority of casual gamers migrating towards smartphones and tablets to play videogames, Nintendo has largely refused to expand beyond its traditional console-based business. Earlier this month, however, the firm did allow its Pokémon franchise to appear on Apple's iPad for the first time, while Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has also confirmed that the company is looking at providing a new health-care service.

Nintendo's revenue for the first half of the year was down 13 per cent to ¥171.4 billion, but the company had a much reduced operating loss of ¥215 million, down from a loss of ¥23.3 billion one year ago.

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The company's earnings forecast remains unchanged for the rest of the business year, with the videogame maker expecting a net profit of ¥20 billion on sales of ¥590 billion.