Wii U coming to UK for Christmas
Poor Wii U sales have hit Nintendo's profit margins. IBTimes UK

Poor Wii U sales have led to an annual operating loss of $456m for the console's manufacturer Nintendo.

It's the third year in succession the company has posted a loss, as it fails to keep pace with market leaders Microsoft and Sony. Over the past year, Nintendo has sold 2.72 million Wii Us, with Microsoft and Sony selling five and seven million Xbox Ones and PS4s, respectively.

Sales of the console failed to pick up in the post-holiday season, with the company selling just 310,000 over the last quarter, a year-on-year fall of 20%.

Ordinary income fell by 42% over the year, with net income per share falling an incredible 184%.

Shares in the brand behind Mario and Donkey Kong fell by 2.7% in Tokyo on the news, closing at 10,670 Yen.

Nintendo is planning to stick by the floundering product and hopes the upcoming release of a number of star titles will reverse its fortunes. Mario Kart 8 is set for released this month, with Super Smash Bros for Wii U to follow at the back end of the year.

Handheld 3DS sales have remained strong, however, and Nintendo has forecast a return to profit for fiscal year 2014.

The Kyoto-based company said in a statement: "Regarding Wii U, which still faces a challenging sales situation, Nintendo will focus on efforts that seek to stimulate the platform."

Earlier this year, it was announced that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata would have his pay halved between February and June in a response to the company's poor performance.