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Nissan Motor Co. said Friday its group net profit for the first half grew 0.5 percent to 238.8 billion yen due to robust sales in the United States and Europe, despite the negative impact of an unfavorable exchange rate and a rise in incentives for dealers.

It reported group sales of 4.01 trillion yen, up 12.7 percent. Its group operating profit stood at 403.4 billion yen, up 0.6 percent.

Nissan said the yen’s appreciation against the dollar cost the firm 56 billion yen in operating profit, while surging incentives for dealers, especially in the U.S., cost it 59 billion yen in operating profit.

Pointing to the harsh business environment, Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said, “We have been able to absorb their effects” through the increase in revenues and cost-reduction efforts in purchasing.

Nissan’s global sales surged 8.8 percent to 1,596,000 vehicles during the April-September period.

However, domestic sales declined 4.9 percent to 368,000 units due to the absence of new models during the first half.

But Ghosn remained optimistic about the domestic market, saying, “We obviously expect our total sales volume in Japan to rise in the second half, driven by the six new models we announced in September.”

Sales in North America showed the biggest increase, up 16.6 percent to 489,000 units, as the Murano luxury sport utility vehicle and Infiniti brand vehicles enjoyed brisk sales.

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