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Harry Potter Is Magic For EA

Led by strong sales for its HARRY POTTER game franchise, Redwood City, California-based Electronic Arts (EA) reported a net profit of $132.3 million, or 92 cents per share, compared with net earnings of $88 million, or 63 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding goodwill and other charges, the company reported earnings of $147.1 million, or $1.03 per share. Revenue in the quarter was $832.9 million, up from $640.3 million a year earlier. The company credited strong sales of its HARRY POTTER games, the early release of FINAL FANTASY X and the launch of Nintendos GameCube, Game Boy Advance and Microsofts Xbox for the sales gain. These factors were evident particularly in Japan and Asia Pacific revenues, which were up 53% and 10% respectively. Japan sales were up in spite of an unfavorable exchange rate comparison of approximately 13%. Worldwide, over 7 million units of HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE were sold and EA recently announced that the latest game in the Final Fantasy series, FINAL FANTASY X for PlayStation 2, has already sold more than 1 million copies in the U.S. The company's online division, EA.com, did post a loss including charges in the quarter of $36.2 million, though revenue nearly doubled to $21.9 million from $11.2 million in the year-earlier period, reported REUTERS. EA.com phased out its online adventure game MAJESTIC during the quarter, which was a critical success but a commercial failure. Electronic Arts said it still expected the division to reach profitability in fiscal 2003.

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