Nissan Motor Co. said Thursday it posted record group net profits of 331.1 billion yen for fiscal 2000.

This figure represents a sharp reversal from net losses of 684.36 billion yen recorded by the firm the previous year.

Nissan attributed the turnaround to the success, thus far, of a revival plan aimed at getting the automaker back on track.

The firm, which reported the first full-year of results under the Nissan Revival Plan, said its group operating profits stood at 290.3 billion yen, up 251.6 percent from the previous fiscal year.

Nissan also reported consolidated sales of 6.089 trillion yen, up 1.9 percent from the previous year, while it posted 282.3 billion yen in pretax profits.

Nissan President Carlos Ghosn said the automaker’s successful earning results were partly down to its 11 percent cut in purchasing costs. This exceeded the automaker’s commitment to a cut of 8 percent during the first year of the three-year revival plan, he said.

This successful cost reduction offset the negative impact of the strong yen against the euro and the dollar until the final quarter of fiscal 2000, he said.

The automaker, which is currently in its second year of restructuring, sold 2.632 million vehicle units in the global market in fiscal 2000, up 4 percent from the previous year. Its sales of cars and commercial vehicles increased in all its markets except Japan during the year.

On a parent-only basis, Nissan posted sales of 2.98 trillion yen in fiscal 2000, down 0.6 percent from a year earlier, while its operating profits were 127.7 billion yen.

It also posted nonconsolidated pretax profits of 135.6 billion yen and net profits of 187.4 billion yen in fiscal 2000.

“NRP’s first commitment of returning Nissan to profitability has been clearly met,” Ghosn declared during a Tokyo news conference that was connected via satellite with European journalists in Paris.

“But fiscal 2000 is only a first step in the right direction.”

For fiscal 2001, which ends March 2002, Nissan forecasts it will generate group sales of 6.3 trillion yen and pretax profits of 290 billion yen.

It also projects consolidated operating profits of 350 billion yen and net profits of 330 billion yen.

The company plans to pay a dividend of 7 yen per share for fiscal 2000, its first dividend payment in three years.

The automaker said it is scheduled to introduce five new vehicles to the domestic market during the current business year, and two to the overseas market.

Ghosn reported that, under the revival plan, Nissan has thus far reduced its number of parts and components suppliers to 810 from 1,145 in October 1999.

It has also closed three domestic assembly plants and shut down 300 outlets that it planned to close in three years.

Nissan employees at the end of fiscal 2000 numbered 133,800, a decline of 14,200 from the revival plan’s base of 148,000. But this number includes 9,100 newly hired employees, Ghosn said.

Ghosn also stated that Nissan plans to increase its global sales volume by 1 million units from fiscal 2003 to 2005, following the completion of the current revival plan.

The automaker also plans to introduce 22 new vehicles to the global market during the three years from 2003.

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