Metal Gear Solid publisher Konami on Friday reported roughly flat sales and a drop in profits for the first nine months of its fiscal year, as the Pro Evolution soccer series hit 69 million units.
For the nine months ended December 31, Konami generated •188.3 billion ($2.3 billion) in sales, a 1.4 percent year-on-year decrease. Profits for the period dropped 9 percent to •9.6 billion ($117.8 million).
The Tokyo-based publisher said its business segments "roughly [met] their earnings forecast, despite the postponement of several titles."
Konami's Digital Entertainment segment, which houses home and arcade video games, led all other divisions with sales of •97.9 billion ($1.2 billion) for the nine months, down 3 percent year-on-year. Profits were •13 billion ($159.6 million), a 21 percent year-on-year drop.
Major video games released during the period included the PSP game Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and the multiplatform titles World Soccer Winning Eleven 2010 Aoki Samurai no Chosen and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011.
Konami said that the World Soccer Winning Eleven franchise, known as Pro Evolution Soccer in the U.S. and Europe, has sold 69 million units to date, making it one of Konami's top brands.
Total software unit sales for the nine months were 18.5 million, up from 15.5 million for the same period a year ago. Soccer games made up 6.56 million of those total unit sales, and Metal Gear category sales were 1.68 million during the period.
The company's Health and Fitness segment, which includes health club operations, generated •65.1 billion ($799.2 million) in revenues during the nine months, representing a 1 percent rise. Profits in the segment were up 23 percent to •1.3 billion ($16 million).
Sales for the Gaming and Systems division, which houses slot machines, dropped 2 percent to •14.5 billion ($178 million), while profits were down 1 percent to •3.8 billion ($46.6 million).
In the year ahead, Konami has several games planned for the soon-to-launch Nintendo 3DS, including Winning Eleven 3DSoccer, Professional Baseball Spirits 2011, Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights, Asphalt 3D: Nitro Racing, a new LovePlus game and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater.
For the full fiscal year ending March 31, Konami expects sales of •285 billion ($3.5 billion), an expected 9 percent year-on-year increase, and profits of •13.5 billion ($165.6 million), a 1 percent increase.