Nissan Posts Record Sales, $4.28 Bn Net Profit
Nissan on Friday posted a $4.28 billion full-year net profit and record sales as the Japanese automaker shrugged off the devastating impact of last year's quake-tsunami disaster on production.
Japan's second-biggest automaker said it earned 341.43 billion yen in the fiscal year to March, up 7.0 percent year-on-year, surpassing its forecast of 290 billion yen and bucking a national trend of falling auto profits.
The company said sales rose 7.2 percent to their highest-ever 9.41 trillion yen with 4.85 million vehicles sold globally, even after a year that saw natural disasters and a high yen play havoc with many automakers' operations.
Vehicle sales rose in Japan, the United States, Europe and Nissan's biggest market, China, now the world's largest auto market where the firm said sales jumped about 22 percent in fiscal 2011.
For the current year, Nissan said it expected a net profit of 400 billion yen, operating profit of 700 billion yen on soaring sales of 10.3 trillion yen.
It also said its global sales for the year ending March 2013 would rise about 10.0 percent to 5.35 million vehicles.
"Nissan has delivered robust operating profits and record sales amid growing demand for our models, brands and technologies around the world," Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said in a statement.
"It is an even more encouraging performance given the headwinds created by natural disasters, an over-valued yen and uncertain global economic conditions."
Nissan's results stood in stark contrast to fellow Japanese auto titans Toyota and Honda whose full-year profits tumbled in the same period.
However, Nissan's rivals are forecasting a swift recovery this year, as they leave behind a year that many Japanese firms would prefer to forget.
The first six months of 2011 were torrid for the nation's manufacturers, with the lingering impact of the March earthquake-tsunami hamstringing production lines and electricity-saving measures squeezing capacity.
Nissan, Toyota and Honda all slashed production and shuttered plants because of power shortages and a component supply crunch.
Japanese exporters have been battling the crippling effects of a sky-high yen, which makes their products more expensive overseas and erodes repatriated profits.
Flooding in Thailand that created a component shortage also proved a drag for firms with plants in the Southeast Asian nation.
Nissan shares were up 3.34 percent at 804 yen on Friday, with its results released after markets closed.
On Wednesday, Toyota said its net profit for the year to March was 283.56 billion yen, a 30.5 percent on-year fall, while Honda said late last month that its earnings for the period hit 211.5 billion yen, down about 60.0 percent.
On Friday, Nissan said it would release 10 new products globally in the current fiscal year as the company locks horns with global heavyweights General Motors and Volkswagen.
The Japanese firm has said it would dust off the shelved Datsun brand for emerging markets and start making a new midsize hatchback at its huge plant in Sunderland in the north of England from 2014.
It is also planning to build two models of its luxury Infiniti brand in China, while it and partner Renault this month announced a deal that gives them control of Russia's Avtovaz, owner of the iconic Lada brand.