Nissan Diesel Motor Co. said Wednesday a decline in group sales due to reduced sales volume in the 2001 business year was offset by an expansion in group net profits resulting from cost cuts.

For the year ended March 31, consolidated sales fell 8.1 percent to 371.7 billion yen, while group operating profits fell 8.8 percent to 11.5 billion yen, according to the truck and bus manufacturer, which is owned 22.5 percent each by Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA of France.

Nissan Diesel posted consolidated pretax profits of 5 billion yen, up 27.3 percent, and logged group net profits of 600 million yen, up 0.9 percent.

For this year, it expects group sales to reach 380 billion yen, up 2.2 percent, with consolidated pretax profits rising 20 percent to 6 billion yen. Group net profits are expected to jump 66.7 percent to 1 billion yen.

Domestic demand for trucks remains low amid the sluggish economy, but Nissan Diesel officials said they expect the firm’s exports to increase this year as the market recovers in North America and parts of Asia.

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