TOKYO (AP) _ Bandai Co., one of Japan's biggest toymakers, returned to profitability in the latest fiscal year on a rebound in its United States and European businesses and an emphasis on its popular Power Rangers characters.

Bandai reported Wednesday a group net profit of 1.28 billion yen, or $11.7 million, in the fiscal year ended March 31 cmpared with a loss of 16.39 billion yen a year earlier.

Sales tumbled 10.2 percent to 208.62 billion yen, or $1.9 billion, from 232.29 billion yen a year earlier because the company stopped marketing unprofitable products.

Bandai forecast that group net profit will rise more than fivefold to 7.8 billion yen in the current fiscal ear that ends March 31, 2001 as continues to cut money-losing products. It plans to reduce the number of products it offers to 8,000 from about 8,500 now.

The creator of Tamagotchi said sales are expected to rise 0.7 percent to 210 billion yen during the year on sales of new game software to Sony Corp. for use in its PlayStation2 video game players.

The company added that it expects to boost sales of Internet-based games to 2.5 billion yen this year from 600 million yen in the year just ended.