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Sega six-month sales, profits plummet

Corporate fingers are crossed that Dreamcast will recapture company's former glory

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Sega's irritation over the delay it has experienced in shipping its next-generation Dreamcast games console became clearly understandable when the company announced it latest half-year results, yesterday. The figures were not inspiring. Net profits fell from Y5.03 billion for the same period last year to Y1.21 billion, a fall of 75.9 per cent. Sales dropped 20.4 per cent to Y100.93 billion from Y126.75 billion. Sega is hoping Dreamcast will turn that downward spiral around, and MD Shunichi Nakamura reiterated the company's prediction that it will sell one million Dreamcasts by the end of March 1999. That target was orginally set for the end of 1998, but difficulties encountered by chip manufacturer NEC integrating its PowerVR 2 graphics accelerator, co-developed with Britsh graphics specialist VideoLogic, forced Sega to move the deadline back three months. Now the calendar year-end target is just 500,000 machines. The company predicted rosy results for the current fiscal year, ending 31 March 1999. It believes it will make Y1.6 billion up from last year's Y35.64 billion loss. ®

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