Bandai Namco Holdings FY2023: Sales Reach All-time High, Dragon Ball Generates 144.5 Billion Yen in Sales, Likely the Highest for a Single IP in History

Bandai Namco Holdings Inc. posted its best fiscal year sales to date since FY2006, with a year-over-year increase of 11.34% to reach a strong closing of FY2023 at 990,089 million yen (≈7.18 billion USD), coming close to the 1 trillion yen (≈7.27 billion USD) mark. Despite achieving record sales, the group experienced a profit decline of 2.60% compared to the previous fiscal year, with a profit of 90,345 million yen (≈656.75 million USD), which still stands as the group’s second-best performance to date since FY2016.

The group’s rapid response to a changing environment, coordination between media deployment of major intellectual properties (IP) and products or services, and the unification of various regions and businesses under the banner “All Bandai Namco” have resulted in strong sales for its main network contents, particularly within its Digital Business segment. The segment has been heavily bolstered by the recurring sales of home video games like the popular title Elden Ring, while the Toy and Hobby Business segment has achieved high profit margins from products targeting adult consumers.

Please note FY2023 occurred from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

Bandai Namco’s Overall Segments’ Performances in Brief

Before delving into the following section, it’s important to note that Bandai Namco has combined the Visual and Music Business and the Creation Business into a single segment in its latest FY2023 report, referred to as the IP Production Business. Previously, these two businesses were separate entities. The Visual and Music Business segment focuses on the sales and licensing of IP-related visual and music content, while the Creation Business is responsible for producing new video works.

Digital Business

The repeating sales of existing titles, particularly the globally successful game Elden Ring, performed remarkably well throughout the fiscal year, especially in overseas markets. While Elden Ring made a significant contribution to the segment’s success, several new releases also had their own sales impact. Games such as Digimon Survive, Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival, One Piece Odyssey, and others were released during the fiscal year. In the network content sector, flagship titles like Dragon Ball and One Piece performed strongly due to the group’s initiatives to engage targeted users through various product offerings. However, the overall lineup presented by the group in FY2023 was somewhat mixed, and the impairment loss incurred on certain work-in-progress titles amounted to 13 billion yen (≈94.50 million USD), resulting in a 29.1% decrease in segment profit compared to the previous year, totaling 49,339 million yen (≈358.73 million USD). Sales were solid, though the improvement over the previous fiscal year was relatively modest at 2%, reaching 385,681 million yen (≈2.80 billion USD).

From left: Digimon Survive, Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival, One Piece Odyssey were among the many games released throughout the fiscal year

Toys and Hobby Business

The impact of inflation was evident throughout the fiscal year, particularly with the rise in raw material and fuel prices. Despite these challenges, the segment persevered and achieved a 19.8% increase in sales, reaching 447,491 million yen (≈3.25 billion USD), while segment profit grew by 13.8% year-over-year, amounting to 59,538 million yen (≈432.82 million USD). Much of this success can be attributed to the group’s expansion of global operations and the strengthening of production capabilities. Products targeting adult consumers, such as Gundam series plastic model kits and collectible figures, along with character lotteries (known as “charakuji” in Japanese), performed well both domestically and internationally, aided by product lineup enhancements and marketing efforts. Trading card games for the One Piece series, digital card games for the Gundam series, various card merchandise, as well as Bandai Namco’s excavation chocolates called “Charapaki” (where you excavate by eating the chocolate to reveal a fossil-like item), and capsule toys were popular. However, the segment faced inventory valuation losses and other expenses that hindered it from generating even higher profits.

An example of a character lottery or charakuji product released by Bandai Namco, the above picture is a product based on the popular boy band BTS

IP Production Business

The distribution of video content from popular series such as Gundam, Love Live!, Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken (or That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime), and Blue Lock performed well throughout the fiscal year. As the pandemic situation eased in FY2023, live events held at locations like the Gundam Factory Yokohama also experienced increased domestic sales. Consequently, sales in this segment saw a 2.2% year-over-year increase, amounting to 81,748 million yen (≈594.38 million USD), with segment profit following suit and rising by 20.5% to 10,645 million yen (≈77.80 million USD).

From left: Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo Season 1, Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken Movie: Guren no Kizuna-hen and Blue Lock were some of the projects they were involved in

For additional context, the group and its subsidiaries were involved in numerous projects throughout FY2023. Some notable projects included Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo (Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury) by Bandai Namco Filmworks, Love Live! Superstar!! 2nd Season, Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 3rd Season (Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun Season 3) by Bandai Namco Pictures as a studio, Ultraman Season 2 and Koukaku Kidoutai: SAC_2045 Season 2 (Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2) by Bandai Namco Arts, and Summertime Render, Ao Ashi, and Blue Lock (also shared with Bandai Namco Filmworks and Bandai Namco Music Live) by Bandai Spirits.

Amusement Business

The impact of the pandemic and rising utility costs continued to be felt by the segment throughout the fiscal year. However, despite these challenges, existing domestic amusement facility stores managed to achieve a significant jump in sales, with a year-over-year increase of 114.9%. The group also observed strong performance resulting from the launch of new products, including the commercial game machine “CLENA3”. As a result, sales experienced a 27.0% year-over-year increase, reaching 104,602 million yen (≈760.95 million USD), with a segment profit of 6,038 million yen (≈43.91 million USD), representing a 49.0% growth compared to the previous fiscal year.

An example of Bandai Namco’s CLENA3 game machine.

Other Businesses

The “Other Businesses” segment, which encompasses logistic support and various administrative and operational support services for the smooth operation of the group’s companies, experienced a sales increase of 13.2%, reaching 31,313 million yen (≈227.73 million USD). Additionally, the segment profit showed significant growth, rising by 235.9% year-over-year to 1,165 million yen (≈8.47 million USD).

Sales of Packages Decline, while Production, Licensing, Distribution, Events, and Other Areas Thrive

Sales of packages for the group continue to underperform. Although the 11.5 billion yen (≈83.65 million USD) generated through this segment is not the weakest seen thus far—the lowest being in FY2021 at 9.8 billion yen (≈71.28 million USD), it is the second weakest since FY2015. In fact, if we look further back to a time when data was available, package sales likely peaked in FY2007 with 33.9 billion yen (≈246.58 million USD) worth of packages sold during that period. The nearest peak achieved since FY2015 was in FY2017, when the group recorded 19.1 billion yen (≈138.93 million USD) in sales for the segment.

Based on the latest performance and observations from Oricon, there is a high likelihood of another decline in package sales for Bandai Namco in FY2024. Although Oricon does not capture the full extent of package sales (as it excludes some stores), the data observed so far aligns with the latest information from Bandai Namco. One contributing factor to the sales increase in FY2022 was the success of Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway’s Flash in 2021. From November 22 to November 28, 2021, the film sold 50,216 copies in just three days. However, in the following year, high-profile releases such as Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai 2nd Season, Love Live! Superstar!! 2nd Season, Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo, Macross Δ Movie: Zettai Live!!! / Gekijou Tanpen Macross Frontier: Toki no Meikyuu, IDOLiSH7: Third Beat!, and others experienced a decline in sales compared to 2021, particularly the idol series but not much for the rest. For example, in 2021, each volume of IDOLiSH7: Third Beat! sold over 10,000 copies within the first three to six days, but in 2022, that number dropped to just under 5,000 copies in three days. Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai 2nd Season and Love Live! Superstar!! also sold fewer copies than their predecessors.

On the other hand, the production, license, distribution, events, and other areas saw a 11.14% decrease in total sales compared to the previous year, but sales still exceeded the 70 billion yen (≈509.17 million USD) mark. Although not the segment’s best performance to date, it nearly triples the figures from FY2015, which stood at 25.8 billion yen (≈187.67 million USD). The highest ever recorded for the segment was in the previous fiscal year, with 79 billion yen (≈574.63 million USD), representing a significant year-over-year increase of 69.89% compared to FY2021’s sales of 46.5 billion yen (≈338.23 million USD).

Bandai Namco’s Best-selling IPs for FY2023

Dragon Ball continues to dominate with impressive sales. The series achieved a total sales figure of 144.5 billion yen (≈1.05 billion USD), representing a 13.24% year-over-year increase or an additional 16.9 billion yen (≈122.94 million USD) in sales compared to FY2022. This marks the series’ largest performance to date since FY2008. To put it into perspective, in FY2008, the series earned only 17.8 billion yen (≈129.48 million USD) in sales for the group, making the latest result approximately 8 times higher. Sales remained below the 20 billion yen (≈145.48 million USD) mark until FY2015 when they climbed significantly in FY2016 to 34.9 billion yen (≈253.86 million USD) coinciding with the airing of the Dragon Ball Super TV Anime series (July 5, 2015 to March 25, 2018) at the time. Since then, sales for the series have continued to rise, with a slight drop from FY2020 to FY2021 before gaining momentum in FY2022. This rise in sales aligns with Toei Animation’s explosive sales for the series during the same period, further highlighting the success and impact of Dragon Ball Super and the later on, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.

Mobile Suit Gundam takes second place with sales reaching 131.3 billion yen (≈955.05 million USD), its best performance since FY2008. In that same fiscal year, sales for the franchise amounted to 50.9 billion yen (≈370.24 million USD) and remained below the 50 billion yen (≈363.69 million USD) mark until FY2013. It was not until FY2018 that Dragon Ball surpassed Mobile Suit Gundam in sales, with Dragon Ball reaching 97.9 billion yen (≈712.13 million USD) compared to Mobile Suit Gundam‘s 68.3 billion yen (≈496.82 million USD). However, in FY2021, Mobile Suit Gundam came closer to the 100 billion yen (≈727.40 million USD) mark with sales of 95 billion yen (≈691.03 million USD). Interestingly, it was in the following year, coinciding with the release of Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway’s Flash, that Mobile Suit Gundam finally surpassed the 100 billion yen (≈727.40 million USD) mark.

One Piece is the third top-selling IP, and it achieved remarkable growth with sales of 86.3 billion yen (≈627.78 million USD), a staggering 95.69% year-over-year increase. This is the first time the series has surpassed the 80 billion yen (≈581.95 million USD) mark since FY2009 when it earned 4.6 billion yen (≈33.46 million USD). To provide context, FY2009 was a challenging period due to the global financial crisis, resulting in slow sales across the board. However, from FY2011 onward, One Piece started to gain momentum, securing 15.5 billion yen (≈112.75 million USD) in sales in FY2011 and nearly doubling that to 28.8 billion yen (≈209.50 million USD) in the following year. Sales remained relatively stable between 23 billion yen (≈167.31 million USD) and 38 billion yen (≈276.35 million USD) from FY2013 to FY2021. It was not until FY2022 that sales breached the 40 billion yen (≈290.89 million USD) mark. The significant jump in sales observed in FY2023 can be attributed to the impact of the One Piece Film: Red.

Now, let’s briefly discuss the remaining IPs on the list. Kamen Rider secures the fourth position as Bandai Namco’s fourth-largest IP with sales of 32.1 billion yen (≈233.44 million USD), representing an 8.81% increase compared to FY2022 or a gain of 2.6 billion yen (≈18.91 million USD). Ultraman takes the fifth spot with sales of 19.5 billion yen (≈141.81 million USD), surpassing its FY2022 sales by 16.07%. Naruto, on the other hand, experienced an 18.70% drop in sales year-over-year, generating 18.7 billion yen (≈135.99 million USD) in sales. The series reached its peak in FY2021 with sales of 21.4 billion yen (≈155.63 million USD) for Bandai Namco. This marks the second consecutive year of declining sales for Naruto.

Following closely is Anpanman, earning 9.9 billion yen (≈71.99 million USD), a 6.45% increase compared to the previous year. Super Sentai comes next on the list with 6.5 billion yen (≈47.26 million USD) in sales, showing a 30% year-over-year increase. Lastly, Pretty Cure records a 3.45% decrease in sales year-over-year, reaching 5.6 billion yen (≈40.72 million USD) in sales of which it represents the worst performance for franchise since FY2009.

Bandai Namco’s Best-selling IPs for Toys and Hobby Business for FY2023

On to the Toys and Hobby Business segment, Mobile Suit Gundam retains its number one spot for the ninth consecutive year. The latest result of 60.5 billion yen (≈439.93 million USD) represents a 36.88% increase year-over-year, which is the series’ best performance to date since FY2006 and the largest for a single IP within the group probably in history. These sales account for nearly 46.08% of Mobile Suit Gundam‘s total IP sales for the fiscal year. To compare, in FY2006, Mobile Suit Gundam had sales worth 21.3 billion yen (≈154.88 million USD) for the segment, making the current earnings almost three times larger. From FY2007 to FY2014, sales remained below the 20 billion yen (≈145.43 million USD) mark for the IP, only surpassing it once again in FY2015. It stayed within that range for the next three fiscal years before climbing again in FY2019, finally surpassing 30 billion yen (≈218.15 million USD) in sales for the group. FY2021 marked its first rise to the 40 billion yen (≈290.86 million USD) mark. During FY2023, Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo Season 1 aired, which also saw the release of various associated products such as the HG 1/144 Gundam Aerial and the Figure-rise Standard Suletta Mercury in October 2022, among others.

Next, One Piece overtakes Kamen Rider to become Bandai Namco’s second biggest performer in the Toys and Hobby Business segment. Sales stood at 31.9 billion yen (≈231.96 million USD) at the end of the fiscal year, representing a staggering 219% increase in sales year-over-year and One Piece‘s best performance since FY2009. These sales account for nearly 37% of One Piece‘s total IP sales for the fiscal year. As mentioned earlier, the major catalyst for this rise and stellar sales performance is “One Piece Film: Red.” Bandai Namco had already noted the significant revenue generated by One Piece through its trading card game, and this coincided with the release of the Premium Card Collection – FILM RED Edition in Japan in January 2023. Although not explicitly mentioned, the release of figurines of Shanks and Uta based on the film likely contributed greatly to overall sales as well.

Kamen Rider slipped to the third spot but still achieved a substantial 23 billion yen (≈167.24 million USD) in sales, representing a modest 0.88% increase year-over-year. These sales account for 71.65% of the IP’s total sales for the fiscal year. However, this is not Kamen Rider‘s best performance to date, as it peaked at 28.5 billion yen (≈207.23 million USD) in FY2020 and has consistently produced sales ranging from about 20 billion yen (≈145.45 million USD) to nearly 30 billion yen (≈218.17 million USD) for the franchise.

Moving on to the other IPs, Dragon Ball closely follows Kamen Rider with 22.5 billion yen (≈163.63 million USD) in sales, a 14.21% increase year-over-year, and contributing only 15.57% to its total IP sales. This is also Dragon Ball‘s best performance to date since FY2006. Anpanman noted a 6.90% increase in sales, securing the fifth spot with 9.3 billion yen (≈67.63 million USD), which represents 93.94% of its total IP sales. Ultraman follows closely with 9.2 billion yen (≈66.91 million USD), a 15% improvement from the previous fiscal year, accounting for 47.18% of its total IP sales and marking its best performance since FY2006. Pokémon takes the seventh spot with 8.8 billion yen (≈64.00 million USD) in sales, a 49.15% improvement year-over-year. Pretty Cure and Super Sentai share the eighth spot, each with 5.6 billion yen (≈40.72 million USD) in sales. For Pretty Cure, this segment contributes 100% to its total IP sales, marking its lowest performance since FY2006. As for Super Sentai, it only accounts for 86.15% of its total IP sales.

Percentage of Toys and Hobby Business of Total IP Sales

Titles Total Series Sales (Billion Yen) Total Toys and Hobby Sales (Billion Yen) Δ%
DRAGON BALL 144.5 22.5 15.57%
Mobile Suit Gundam 131.3 60.5 46.08%
ONE PIECE 86.3 31.9 36.96%
KAMEN RIDER 32.1 23 71.65%
Ultraman 19.5 9.2 47.18%
Anpanman 9.9 9.3 93.94%
Pretty Cure 5.6 5.6 100.00%
Super Sentai 6.5 5.6 86.15%

Key Takeaways:

  • The strongest sales achieved for the group since FY2006, very likely in history.
  • Dragon Break broke its own personal record, reaching 144.5 billion yen in sales, the highest for a single IP.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam became the first Toys and Hobby Business IP to top the segment in terms of sales for the ninth consecutive year since FY2006.
  • There was a major surge for One Piece, with its Toys and Hobby Business segment experiencing a 219% year-over-year increase.
  • Sales of packaged products continue to disappoint.
Bandai Namco Holdings Ownership Chart for Reference

As of the publication of FY2023 results, Bandai Namco Holdings stock closed at 3,097 yen (≈22.52 USD) on May 10, 2023. It experienced a 0.68% surge on the following day’s opening, starting at 3,118 yen (≈22.68 USD). The stock price then reached a peak of 3,219 yen (≈23.41 USD) before slightly declining to 3,218 yen (≈23.40 USD) by the end of the day.

BANDAI NAMCO Holdings is incorporated in Japan with its head office in Minato-ku. It is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under ticket symbol: 7832

All currency conversion was done at the time of writing.

Q3 Results

Please note that this article was written based on the combined information of all the sources listed below, plus further analyses and prognostication of my own by referencing to the data collected from the sources and some inputs I received from followers.

Securities Report FY2023 (ENG)
Securities Report FY2023 (JPN)
Financial Highlights FY2023

Google Chart(s):
Bandai Namco’s Sales and Income Performance
Bandai Namco’s Sales of IP Groupwide FY2022 vs FY2023
Bandai Namco’s Sales of IP Groupwide Rank
Bandai Namco’s Sales of Toys and Hobby Business FY2022 vs FY2023
Bandai Namco’s Sales of Toys and Hobby Business Rank
Bandai Namco’s Biggest 5 IPs (Time Series)
Bandai Namco’s Biggest 5 Toy and Hobby IPs (Time Series)
Bandai Namco’s IP Production Business Sales
Bandai Namco’s Sales of Packages

Top 5 Biggest IP Sales Trend
Top Best-selling IP
Top Best-selling Toy and Hobby IP

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