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Square Enix to meet fiscal forecasts

Despite DigiCube bankruptcy.

Japanese publisher Square Enix has announced its financial results for the nine months through to December 31, revealing that the company is on track to meet its full-year forecasts despite the bankruptcy of retail subsidiary DigiCube.

DigiCube, which was responsible for distributing Square Enix products through the ubiquitous convenience store chains in Japan, went bust last year, causing losses of 760 million Yen (€5.8 million) on the company's bottom line.

However the company has not adjusted its projections for the full year, and continues to forecast profits of 8.1 billion Yen (€61.8m) on sales of 56 billion Yen (€427m) - a drop in profits of some 51 per cent over the combined profit figure for Square and Enix in their last year's unmerged figures, which the company attributes to costs involved in the merger.

The console game sector continues to be Square Enix' biggest earner by far, with nine month revenues of 22.37 billion Yen (€170.5m), but the company's new foray into print publishing is also proving successful - with some 6.5 billion Yen (€49.5m) earned to date, mostly thanks to very healthy sales of the Full Metal Alchemist graphic novels.

Square Enix hopes to turn Full Metal Alchemist, a franchise which also includes a popular anime TV series and most recently an action RPG title on the PS2, into one of its core properties, alongside the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises.

The company is also realising significant revenues from new market sectors such as online gaming and mobile gaming. Online games generated some 7 billion Yen (€53.4m) during the nine month period, mostly driven by the Final Fantasy XI massively multiplayer RPG, while the company's mobile games division turned over 1.89 billion Yen (€14.4m), and is expected to grow significantly over the coming year.

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