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Nintendo records best Q1 sales since 2012 thanks to Amiibo and Splatoon

Nintendo has published its first quarter earnings for the three months ending June 30th, revealing net sales of ¥90 billion ($727 million) and operating profit of ¥1.1 billion ($9.3 million). This is good news for the Japanese company on two counts: firstly, this is Nintendo's best first quarter sales since 2012, and secondly, its operating profit has beaten the expectations of Wall Street analysts, who were predicting losses of anywhere between $1 million and $50 million. These figures compare favorably to a year ago, when Nintendo suffered a ¥9.4 billion loss in operating income.

Splatoon accounted for more than a third of Wii U software sales

The firm cited strong sales of its Amiibo figurines and Nintendo 3DS console and games as reasons for the profitable earnings. The recently released squid-based shooter Splatoon for the Wii U also performed well, selling 1.62 million copies since its launch at the end of May — accounting for more than a third of total Wii U software sales.

While the turnaround will be pleasing for Nintendo, it's not particularly surprising. Beating sales figures from 2012 is a bit of a low bar, as at that time, interest in the Wii was declining in preparation for the launch of the Wii U. (And the Wii U still isn't performing well, with sales down from 0.51 million a year ago to 0.47 million this quarter.) Nintendo, though, says it expects to secure a "new source of revenue" before the end of 2015 thanks to its work on games for smartphones, with the first title expected later this year. But after the unexpected death of CEO and president, Satoru Iwata, earlier this month, Nintendo's future remains less than clear.