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Square Enix raises profit forecasts

Better than expected full-year performance for Japanese RPG giant.

Japanese publisher Square Enix has adjusted its projected financial figures for the year ended March 31st, with net profit estimates rising 7.4 per cent while the expected figure for consolidated revenues is up 12.5 per cent.

The company now expects full-year sales of some 63 billion Yen (€483 million), with operating profit of 19 billion Yen (€146 million, up 28.6 per cent on previous expectations) and net profit expected to be 8.7 billion Yen (€67 million).

Despite being recently named as the second largest software publisher in Japan (after Nintendo), this year's results are down massively compared to what Square and Enix made in 2002 as separate companies.

The bulk of the firm's profits came from sales of Final Fantasy X-2, and strong sales of SNES remake Dragon Warrior V at the very end of the financial year also contributed. However, the year lacked a genuinely new title in either the Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest franchises, a factor which undoubtedly affected the company's earnings.

The rest of Square Enix' businesses continue to tick along nicely, though - with online title Final Fantasy XI being noted as a particular commercial success following its launch in North America. A European launch is expected later this year, and will be the first title to be self-published by Square Enix in Europe following a decision to beef up the firm's operations here, including a hiring program which will more than double the size of its London offices.

The newest aspect of Square Enix' business, the publishing division, has also had a good year - with Full Metal Alchemist becoming one of the most popular manga in Japan, and more recently being made into a hugely successful TV series. Both the manga and anime are expected to be launched overseas in the coming year, along with the PS2 and GBA titles based on the franchise.

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