Sega Sammy Post Profits As Bayonetta Ships 1.35 Million

Sega Sammy posted full-year profits of ¥20.3 billion ($219.9 million), up from a loss of ¥22.9 billion ($248.4 million), as Bayonetta sold 1.35 million units to retail -- but the company still notes a "weak" Western market.
Sega Sammy posted full-year profits on Friday, but noted a "weak" Western market that caused sales to slide in its consumer business, which includes home video games. Sales in Sega Sammy's consumer business segment for the fiscal year ended March 31 were ¥121.8 billion ($1.3 billion), a 7.5 percent year-on-year decline. The company said video game demand in the U.S. and Europe was "generally weak … due to the … sluggish personal consumption." Sega did see an operating profit in the consumer segment of ¥6.3 billion ($68.3 million), up from a loss of ¥941 million ($10.2 million) a year prior. For the year, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games was the top title with 6.53 million units sold to retail in the U.S. and Europe. Aliens vs. Predator followed with 1.69 million units (U.S./Europe); Bayonetta was next with 1.35 million (U.S., Europe, Japan); and Sonic and Sega All-Star Racing sold 1.07 million units (U.S./Europe). In Japan, two major games sold several hundred thousand copies to retail, but did not break the million-mark during the year: Phantasy Star Portable 2 for PSP sold 600,000 and Yakuza 4 for PS3 sold 560,000. In all, Sega Sammy said it shipped 26.75 million units during the year. For the current fiscal year, the company plans to cut back on video game shipments considerably, forecasting 16.96 million units shipped during the year. The company is also cutting the number of titles shipped from 66 this most recent fiscal year to 56 for the current year. For the year ahead, Sega Sammy said it would "improve profitability [in the consumer business] through streamlining the development by measures such as narrowing down the titles for overseas markets." While video game sales were weak in the consumer segment, revenue from the sale of TV and theater films were strong, thanks in part to the Bakugan franchise. Sega said this year that it would reorganize its Western business, handing packaged game duties to Sega Europe and digital initiatives to Sega of America. Sega's pachinko and pachislot business raked in the most sales with ¥160.3 billion ($1.7 billion), followed by consumer segment sales, then amusement facilities business (¥54.7 billion/$593.2 million), amusement machine segment (¥45.1 billion/$489.1 million) and "other" businesses (¥2.8 billion/$30.4 million). Overall, Sega Sammy reported sales of ¥384.7 billion ($4.2 billion), a 10.4 percent year-on-year decline. The company reported profits of ¥20.3 billion ($219.9 million), up from a loss of ¥22.9 billion ($248.4 million) a year ago. For the current year, the company forecast sales of ¥400 billion ($4.3 billion) and profits of ¥22 billion ($238.6 million).

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