TOKYO (AFP) – Nissan said Tuesday its half-year net profit rose 25 per cent to $2.3 billion, lifted by strong North American sales and new models, with a sharply weaker yen also boosting the firm’s bottom line.
Japan’s number-two automaker said it earned 237 billion yen in the April-September period, up from 189.82 billion a year ago, while sales rose 8.2 per cent to 5.14 trillion yen.
Operating profit rose to 261.9 billion yen, up 18.0 per cent, said the maker of the Altima sedan and luxury Infiniti brand.
But Nissan also warned of slowing demand in its number one market China, as well as in Japan due to the April sales tax hike – a situation also faced by rival Honda, though it still reported a 19 per cent jump in first-half profit last week.
Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, announces its results on Wednesday.
“Nissan successfully overcame challenging market conditions in the first-half of the fiscal year, delivering solid revenues and profitability amid encouraging demand for our latest models,” the firm’s chief executive Carlos Ghosn said in a statement.
The firm added that “the improvement reflected strong unit sales growth in North America and signs of stabilisation in western Europe,” despite “slower demand in Japan and continued volatility in Russia and other emerging economies”.
The increasing popularity of such vehicles as the Qashqai, Rogue and X-Trail also contributed to the positive results, Nissan said.
For the fiscal year to March, the firm slightly upgraded its sales forecast to 10.8 trillion yen from 10.79 trillion, while it left unchanged expectations for a 405 billion yen net profit and an operating profit of 535 billion yen.
Nissan’s announcement came after Honda said last week that its six-month net profit soared 19 per cent to $2.67 billion, thanks to a lower yen, strong overseas sales and cost-cutting efforts.
But Honda lowered its annual projections, citing a downturn at home, as well as China and other key Asian markets.