Konami profits jump 149 per cent

Yu-Gi-Oh! and Winning Eleven 7 chip in to a hefty first half.

Japanese publisher Konami has reported a large rise in its profits for the first half of the 2003 fiscal year, with the boost attributed largely to the success of its video games and trading card games in the USA and Europe.

The company recorded profits of 10.86 billion Yen (€85.3 million) for the six months ended September, a rise of 149 per cent over the 4.3 billion Yen (€33.8 million) figure reported in the same period last year.

The rise in Konami's fortunes is mostly down to the solid performance of its videogame business in the USA and Europe, where sales of its hugely popular Yu-Gi-Oh! card game have also been rising steadily. The company also enjoyed significant success for football title Winning Eleven 7 in Japan (and the European edition of same, Pro Evolution Soccer 3, is selling well here at the moment even if it continues to be overshadowed by the success of EA's FIFA 2004).

Despite the improved first half results, Konami hasn't changed its outlook for the full year, and still expects to register a profit of 14.5 billion Yen (€113.8 million) for the twelve month period. This unchanged outlook has disappointed investors, and saw Konami's share price slide slightly, but we suspect that the company is being hugely conservative by not boosting its projections - especially given the fact that the second half will encompass the launch of new titles in the Castlevania and Metal Gear Solid franchises, as well as more Yu-Gi-Oh! products and, of course, Pro Evolution Soccer 3.

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