• Kyodo

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Nissan Motor Corp. reported Wednesday a record group net profit of ¥152.8 billion for the April-June quarter, up 36.3 percent from a year earlier, reflecting strong sales in North America and Europe and the weak yen.

Nissan’s consolidated operating profit rose 58 percent to ¥193.71 billion, on sales of ¥2.9 trillion, up 17.6 percent and also a record high. It maintained its robust earnings outlook for the full year through next March even as concern remains about sales growth in Japan and China.

Under its global sales target of 5.55 million cars for fiscal 2015, the Japanese automaker sold 1.29 million globally in the first quarter.

The popularity of the Altima sedan and the Rogue crossover sport utility vehicle helped send Nissan’s sales in North America — the United States, Canada and Mexico — to a record high of 486,000 vehicles, up 8.9 percent, it said.

In Europe, the company saw a 10.7 percent increase in sales to 189,000 vehicles.

As Nissan relies heavily on overseas markets, the yen’s weakness against the dollar in the reporting period also boosted its profitability, with a foreign exchange operating profit of ¥32 billion being booked.

On the flip side, however, sales in Japan dropped 10 percent to 120,000 vehicles as Nissan Corporate Vice President Joji Tagawa said the domestic market remains “severe.”

Sales in China gained 11.3 percent to 296,000 vehicles between January and March, as the data are reflected in the April-June results.

Amid concern about turmoil in Chinese financial markets, the automaker aims to sell 1.3 million cars in the current business year.

For the full year, Nissan projects a group net profit of ¥485 billion, up 6 percent from the previous year, and operating profit of ¥675 billion, up 14.5 percent, on sales of ¥12.1 trillion, up 6.4 percent.

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