Nissan has posted a surprise rise in quarterly profit on better-than-expected vehicle sales and a weaker yen, and reiterated its forecast for a small gain in full-year profit, according to Reuters.

It was widely reported recently that Nissan has been struggling with shrinking demand in major regions.

However, October-December operating profit grew 5.2% to 219.62 billion yen. The average forecast from four brokers surveyed by Reuters Estimates had predicted a 2.5% fall to 203.5 billion yen.

Nissan had been expected to be alone among Japan's top car companies in posting lower third-quarter operating profit, Reuters said.

While sales in its two biggest markets - the United States and Japan - fell 7% and 19% in the period, buoyant shipments in Europe, China and some smaller markets helped overall sales volume rise slightly during the quarter, Nissan said.

Net profit was up 0.6% to 134.98 billion yen, while revenue climbed 10% to 2.301 trillion yen. That gave an operating margin of 9.5%, still relatively high, but down from 10% a year ago as product mix worsened.

Analysts said the results overshot expectations but not enough to change the outlook for the full year, according to Reuters.