Japanese videogames giant Nintendo has announced its financial results for the third quarter of the fiscal year, revealing that profits surged to almost double their previous level thanks to strong sales and favourable currency movements.

The quarter ended December 31st saw profits rising to 55.6 billion Yen (392 million Euro) from 21.3 billion Yen (150 million Euro) in the same period last year, although operating profit remained largely flat at 63.2 billion Yen (446 million Euro).

Like most other videogames firms, the third quarter is the most important one of the year for Nintendo, encompassing as it does the vital Christmas season during which the company recorded incredibly strong sales for its DS console around the world.

The fourth quarter may also be a strong one for the Kyoto-based firm, with the Nintendo DS sold out throughout the retail channel in Japan - indicating that strong reorders are likely - and a new version, the DS Lite, set to launch at the beginning of March.

However, Nintendo has maintained its profits forecast for the full year, and continues to anticipate net profit of 75 billion Yen (529 million Euro), a decline from last year's profit figure of 87.4 billion Yen (616 million Euro).

That expectation may be tempered by concerns over the volatile currency market, which has in the recent past driven Nintendo into the red in its quarterly figures as the massive reserves of assets which the company holds overseas were devalued by the weakened dollar.