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Nintendo raises fiscal forecast as Switch closes in on 80 million lifetime sales

Nintendo has reported an upswing in net sales and profits off the back of bumper Switch hardware and software sales. 

Nintendo has reported an upswing in net sales and profits off the back of bumper Switch hardware and software sales. 

As highlighted in the company's fiscal report for the nine months ended December 31, 2020, net sales increased by 37.3 percent year-on-year to 1.4 trillion yen ($13.3 billion), while profits rose by 91.8 percent to 376.6 billion yen ($3.5 billion) over the same period. 

The Switch was largely responsible for that increase, with hardware sales rising by 35.8 percent year-over-year to 24.1 million units. Those numbers mean the console has now sold 79.87 million units to-date, eclipsing the Nintendo 3DS' lifetime sales of 75.94 million units. 

Nintendo explained sales of new and catalog titles made "significant contributions as drivers of hardware sales," and specifically highlighted Animal Crossing: New Horizons for selling 19.41 million units during the current fiscal year -- taking lifetime sales to 31.18 million units. 

Other big-sellers including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which sold 8.64 million units during this fiscal year (for lifetime sales of 33.41 million), and Ring Fit Adventure, which pulled in 5.95 million sales (for lifetime sales of 8.68 million). 

More recent releases like Paper Mario: The Origami King and Super Mario 3D All Stars also sold well, shifting 3.05 million units and 8.32 million units since their respective releases in July and September 2020. 

It's a similar story in Nintendo's digital business, which delivered sales of 256 billion yen ($2.4 billion) -- an increase of 104.9 percent year-on-year -- thanks to "steady" demand for download-only software and Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions. 

Glancing at the company's mobile business, Nintendo revealed its mobile and IP related income rose by 13.8 percent year-on-year to 42 billion yen ($400 million), and said "many consumers continue to enjoy playing our mobile applications."

Based on its better-than-expected sales performance over the past nine months, Nintendo has upwardly revised its fiscal forecast (shown below). Looking ahead, it now expects to deliver net sales of 1.6 trillion yen ($15.2 billion) and profit of 400 billion yen ($3.8 billion) by the end of the fiscal year on March 31, 2021.

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