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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

High Yen Hurts Pokemon Creator's Profits

TOKYO -- Nintendo Co. Ltd., creator of the popular "Pokemon" video games, said Wednesday that the strong yen drove parent-only current profit down nearly 70 percent in the half-year to Sept. 30.

Japan's leading game-making company said its parent-only current profit dropped to 20.2 billion yen ($193.3 million) in the half-year from 63.04 billion yen in the same period a year ago, while sales slipped 5 percent to 190.2 billion yen from a year ago.

The half-year results came days after Nintendo launched a new Gameboy hand-held machine software for its blockbuster Pokemon game series.

The game has a massive and near-fanatical following among children. It has even spawned a motion picture - "Pokemon: The First Movie" - which generated a record $32.4 million in U.S. box office receipts after the second weekend in November.

Despite the Pokemon craze, the company's profit fell sharply for the first six months due to heavy foreign exchange losses caused by a stronger yen, which reduces the yen-based value of profits earned abroad.

For the full year, the Kyoto-based company forecast a parent-only current profit of 100 billion yen, down 26 percent from an actual 135.4 billion yen a year ago.