First Sega, now Disney schools Nintendo in quarterly profits

Disney games division up 74 percent this quarter

The Walt Disney Corporation is so massive, its games division sometimes seems like a drop in the bucket. But the megacompany credits its Interactive Media division with a 74 percent increase in net revenues this quarter.

Revenues are at US$197 million this quarter (up from $113 million for this same quarter last year), while operating losses shrank from $75 million to $65 million.

Disney credits the bump in numbers to the releases of Split Second and Toy Story 3 during the quarter -- whereas last year, all they had coming out about this time was a Hannah Montana game.

Going forward, it'll be interesting to see how Disney's acquisition of both Tapuluous and Playdom affects their earnings.

The next big release for Disney Interactive is Tron: Evolution, followed by Epic Mickey. There's also a Disney Sing It! game that'll probably sell like hotcakes because who doesn't like belting out Hakuna Matata or Part of Your World once you've had a few?

Meanwhile, Nintendo reported a net loss for the April to June quarter.

The Kyoto-based games and console manufacturer said it lost ¥25 billion (US$2.2 billion as of the last day of the period reported) during the quarter, against a ¥42 billion profit a year earlier. Sales fell by a quarter to ¥189 billion.

The sharpest decline was in demand for the Nintendo DS, of which global sales dropped by almost half, to 3.15 million units during the period.

The number of new games launched for the handheld in the quarter dropped by a third in Japan and by a fifth in the Americas, when compared to the year-earlier period, and that led to the weak sales, Nintendo said.

Nintendo left its full-year targets unchanged despite the quarterly loss. The company hopes to realize a profit of ¥200 billion on sales of ¥1.4 trillion. Those targets represent drops of 12 percent and 2 percent on actual results for its fiscal year ending March 31.

Last month, Sega's parent company, Sega Sammy Holdings, reported a positive quarter of earnings mostly on account of revenues from its pachinko business. Net revenues for the company were at 91.3 billion yen ($1 billion USD), up 51 percent over the 60.5 billion yen earned during the same quarter last year.

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