Nissan sales rise but profits decline

by Hiroko Nakata

Staff Writer

Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday its group operating profit for April to December fell 4.7 percent to ¥427.8 billion, with the strong yen eating into overseas earnings.

It also reported a ¥266.1 billion group net profit for the nine months, down 7.7 percent from the same period the previous year.

But sales rose 4.3 percent to ¥6.7 trillion on the back of growth in emerging economies, especially in China, Russia and Brazil. Nissan sold 3.4 million units worldwide in the first three quarters, up 13.6 percent from the previous year.

The carmaker left its forecast unchanged for the full year to March, due to uncertainty over how the yen’s rise and Europe’s debt problems will affect its sales.

Nissan expects to post a ¥510 billion group operating profit, down 5.1 percent from a year earlier, and is projecting that net profit will drop 9.2 percent to ¥290 billion. Sales are also expected to decline 7.7 percent to ¥9.5 trillion, the company said.

“The global economic environment remains volatile and we still face the headwinds of an overvalued yen and the eurozone’s weakness,” Corporate Vice President Joji Tagawa told reporters.

As for the yen’s impact, Tagawa said a rise of just ¥1 against the dollar would cut ¥20 billion from its operating profit.