Nissan Motor Co has reported net income after tax of 238.8 billion yen (US$2.17 billion, €1.79 billion) for the first half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005, an increase of 0.5% compared with last year.

Net consolidated revenue was 4.008 trillion yen, up 12.7%. Operating profit was 403.4 billion yen, up 0.6 %, while operating profit margin was 10.1%. Ordinary profit was 401.4, up 2.8%.

"Many of the external risks we forecast at the beginning of the year have materialised, including higher incentives, commodity prices and interest rates," said Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn. "Despite this challenging environment, we still achieved strong results for the first half due to robust sales in the US and continuous improvement in our European operations."

Globally, Nissan sold 1,596,000 vehicles in the first half, an increase of 8.8% compared with last year.

In Japan, sales fell 4.9% to 368,000 units, including mini-vehicles. In the US, sales grew 16.6% to 489,000 units. In Europe, sales rose 6.6% to 285,000 units in the same period. Sales in general overseas markets rose 15.2% to 454,000 units, including sales in China of 84,000 units.

Ghosn said Nissan would maintain its forecast for the full fiscal year, despite the volatile and uncertain global environment.

"The business climate in the second half is likely to remain severe as the risks are expected to continue," he said. "Despite this outlook, we are maintaining our full-year forecast, supported by strong business fundamentals and the release of nine all-new models in key markets around the world."

Nissan forecasts full-year net revenue of 8.176 trillion yen, operating profit of 860 billion yen, ordinary profit of 846 billion yen and net profit of 510 billion yen.

The results for the first half include, for the first time, a 50% proportional consolidation of Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd., Nissan's joint venture in China, and the full consolidation of Siam Nissan Automobile Co., Ltd., in Thailand and Yulon Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., in Taiwan.