Nintendo has returned to annual profit for the first time in four years.

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The company has turned around its fortunes from last year's loss of 23bn yen (Ł126m) to a more reassuring 41bn yen (Ł226m) profit.

Nintendo shifted 9m 3DS handhelds (including 2DS and New 3DS models) over the past 12 months.

Lifetime sales for the handheld family now stand at 52m units, around a third of the DS' 154m.

3DS sales prior to the launch of the New 3DS and New 3DS XL models "did not grow as anticipated", Nintendo noted in its results briefing today.

But the company's new handheld models had "a good start and continue to sell well", it added.

Less encouragingly, Nintendo only shifted another 3.6m Wii U consoles last year. Lifetime sales for the console now stand at 9.54m worldwide, less than half the lifetime sales of GameCube. Last week, Sony confirmed it had passed the 22m mark for PlayStation 4.

In terms of software, 3DS Pokémon remakes Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire together sold 9.94m units.

Super Smash Bros. on 3DS has now sold 6.75m, while its Wii U brother has sold 3.65m.

Mario Kart 8 has now sold 5.11m copies since its launch last year.

There's no specific word on how the company's Amiibo toys have sold, although the range continues to sell out as soon as new waves are introduced.

Nintendo hopes to shift another 7.6m 3DS and 3.4m Wii U consoles in the next 12 months and to turn another profit.

The coming year will see the launch of the next Fire Emblem game on 3DS, while Wii U will receive Splatoon, Yoshi's Woolly World and Mario Maker.

Nintendo also mentions it will continue to support Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. with more DLC.

Card and yarn-based Amiibo will be launched, as well as the long-awaited NFC reader for 3DS and 2DS.

The end of 2015 will also see Nintendo's first smartphone apps roll out, developed with new partner DeNa. Oh, and then there's the small issue of Nintendo theme parks.

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