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Konami Corp., a video game developer and fitness club operator, said Thursday its group net profit dived 40.7 percent to ¥10.87 billion in business 2008, as it brought forward hefty depreciation costs for its health care service facilities.

In an earnings statement for the 12-month period to March 31, Konami said its pretax profit fell 24.7 percent to ¥24.72 billion, despite a 4.2 percent increase in sales to a record ¥309.77 billion.

The firm said sales were boosted by the strong performance of a new video game title it released last June for the global market and new slot machines, particularly in North America.

It said it will pay a full-year dividend of ¥54 per share in fiscal 2008, including a midterm payout of ¥27, the same level as the full-year dividend the previous year.

It added it expects to pay a full-year dividend of ¥54 in the business year to next March 31.

For the year, Konami forecasts its net profit will jump 47.1 percent to ¥16 billion and pretax profit 15.3 percent to ¥28.5 billion, on sales of ¥310 billion, up 0.1 percent.

Sega Sammy sags

Amusement machine maker Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. said Wednesday its group remained in the red for the second straight year in fiscal 2008 with a net loss of ¥22.88 billion.

The company said in an earnings statement for the year that ended March 31 that the loss, though smaller than the previous year’s red ink of ¥52.47 billion, stemmed largely from weak personal consumption that undercut sales, forcing it to book a range of one-off expenses, including writedowns on its faltering game arcade stores.

But the company saw a pretax profit of ¥6.64 billion against the previous year’s ¥8.22 billion loss, on sales of ¥429.19 billion, down 6.5 percent.

The pretax profit came on cutbacks in a range of expenses, including advertising costs, according to the company.

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