Nissan raises full-year forecast on sales outlook

AP News
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Posted: Nov 02, 2011 7:04 AM
Nissan raises full-year forecast on sales outlook

Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday its net profit for the July-September quarter slipped 4.3 percent from a year earlier, but the automaker raised its earnings outlook for the full-year on projections of higher sales.

Japan's second-biggest vehicle manufacturer seems to be weathering the strong yen and tsunami disaster better than some its rivals, including Honda and Mazda.

"In spite of unfavorable currency fluctuations, numerous natural disasters and a volatile global economy, we remain on track to deliver a significantly profitable full-year performance," CEO Carlos Ghosn said in a press release.

Sales are growing in Europe, China and the U.S., said the maker of the March subcompact and Leaf electric car.

Nissan, which is allied with Renault SA of France, raised its forecast for the full-year through March 2012 to 290 billion yen ($3.63 billion) from the 270 billion yen projected in June. Still, that would represent a 9 percent fall from profit of 319.2 billion yen in the previous year.

It projects annual sales will grow to 9.45 trillion yen from an earlier forecast of 9.4 trillion yen.

It also raised its unit sales forecast 3.3 percent to 4.75 million vehicles for the fiscal year. Sales projections for China _ 1.25 million units _ are nearly as high as the forecast for North America, at 1.35 million.

Nissan's quarterly net profit declined to 98.4 billion yen ($1.26 billion) from 101.73 billion yen last year, while half-year profit slid 12 percent to 183.4 billion yen ($2.3 billion) as sales rose 1.1 percent to 4.367 trillion yen ($54.73 billion).

During the first half of the fiscal year, sales in China rose 18.2 percent to 595,000 vehicles, claiming about 7 percent of the market there.

In other regions, sales in Europe increased 22.6 percent to 339,000 vehicles, and those in North America grew 10.8 percent to 642,000. Sales in Japan declined 14 percent to 283,000 vehicles.

Nissan is also doing well in emerging markets such as Thailand and Indonesia. Sales in Brazil increased 88.2 percent to 29,300 vehicles. The company said it is investing $1.5 billion to build a factory in Resende, Rio de Janeiro state, with a target completion date in the first half of 2014.

Nissan said it had sold 15,600 of the recently launched zero-emission Leaf electric car through September.