Nissan first-half profit slumps on rising costs

TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese automaker Nissan yesterday logged a 10.9 per cent drop in net profit for the six months to September owing to a decline in global sales and rising materials costs.

The results come as Nissan struggles to recover trust after an inspection scandal last year, while it suffered a new blow when it acknowledged in July that data on emissions and fuel economy had been deliberately “altered”.

The firm’s bottom-line profit fell to JPY246.3 billion (USD2.2 billion) from JPY276.5 billion registered in the same six-month period last year.

Sales came in at JPY5.5 trillion, down 2.1 per cent on-year, but the firm – allied with Renault SA of France – maintained its annual forecasts of net profit of JPY500 billion on sales of JPY12 trillion.

“Unfortunately, both sales and profit continued to fall in the second quarter, facing such headwinds as declines in emerging economy currencies and rising raw material costs,” Chief Financial Officer Hiroshi Karube told a news conference.

Global vehicle sales fell 1.8 per cent to 2.68 million units for the six months because of declines in North America and Europe, according to the Yokohama-based maker of the March subcompact, Leaf electric car and Infiniti luxury models.