Toy maker Tomy cuts f'cast, hit by Nintendo success

TOKYO Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:46am EST

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TOKYO Feb 20 (Reuters) - Japanese toy maker Tomy Co. (7867.T) on Tuesday cut its annual net profit forecast by two-thirds, blaming weak demand for toys as consumers spent more on Nintendo Co.'s 7974.OS new video game players.

Tomy, whose main rivals include Namco Bandai Holdings Inc. (7832.T), said it now expects to post a group net profit of 1.7 billion yen ($14 million) in the year to March, down from its previous forecast for a 5 billion yen profit.

The average of two analysts polled by Reuters Estimates had projected a net profit of 4.4 billion yen.

Tomy said sales of character goods and card games for boys were sluggish in Japan, in large part because of the success of Nintendo's DS handheld game device and the next-generation Wii game console, which stole demand for traditional toys.

The company left its sales forecast unchanged at 170 billion yen, reflecting the strong performance of a unit that wholesales Nintendo products.

That business generates lower margins than its core toy business, however, and therefore could not make up for the profit shortfall on toys.

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