Nissan posts record sales, $4.28 bn net profit

May 11, 2012
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The firm posted an operating profit of 545.84 billion yen, up 1.6 percent on-year/FILE
TOKYO, May 11 – 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, even after 12 months that saw natural disasters and a high yen play havoc with many automakers’ operations.

The firm posted an operating profit of 545.84 billion yen, up 1.6 percent on-year.

For the current year, Nissan said it expects a net profit of 400 billion yen, operating profit of 700 billion yen on sales of 10.3 trillion yen.

“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 about 30.5 percent and 60.4 percent in the same period, respectively.

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.

All Japanese exporters are 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.

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