Nintendo profit to surge 160%

OSAKA — Nintendo is expected to report a 160% year-on-year increase in group net profit to around 30 billion yen ($289 million) for the April-September fiscal half thanks to the sale of a stake in the Seattle Mariners professional baseball team.

The profit surge came even as the strong yen led to foreign currency losses of roughly 40 billion yen.

 The smash hit “Pokemon Go” smartphone game, developed jointly by affiliate Pokemon Co. and U.S. startup Niantic, apparently helped shore up Nintendo’s bottom line.

Nintendo said in August that it would sell most of its stake in the operator of the Seattle Mariners for $661 million, an amount nearly 10 times what the Kyoto-based company paid when it acquired the stake from former President Hiroshi Yamauchi in 2004.

Nintendo has seen few hit game titles for its Wii U console this fiscal year. Group sales likely dropped 30% to about 150 billion yen for the first half. The company booked an operating profit of 8.9 billion yen in the April-September period of 2015 but will likely report a loss of about 5 billion yen for the just-ended half.

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