Nissan Motor consolidated net income for the third quarter of fiscal year 2006 fell 22.6% year on year to JPY104.4bn ($US0.90bn,EUR 0.72bn).

Net revenue rose by 1.8% to JPY2.343 trillion ($US20.16bn, EUR 16.24bn) while operating profit fell 16.6% to JPY183.1bn ($US1.58bn, EUR 1.27bn) and operating profit margin was 7.8%. Ordinary profit was off 15.6% to JPY177.1bn ($US1.52bn, EUR 1.23bn).

Nissan sold 795,000 vehicles worldwide in the third fiscal quarter, down 3.0%.

“Against an environment of high raw material and energy prices, no pricing power and continuing weakness in mature markets, our industry faced many headwinds,” said Nissan’s president and CEO, Carlos Ghosn in a statement.

“This unfavourable and adverse external environment combined with internal factors to create a challenging period for our company. For the first time since 1999 risks outweighed opportunities.”.

For the first nine months of its fiscal year, Nissan Motor’s net income after tax was up 3.5% to JPY378.6bn ($US3.26bn,EUR 2.62bn).

Net revenue rose 1.2% to JPY6.877 trillion ($US59.18bn, EUR 47.66bn) but operating profit was off 15.8% to JPY531.7bn ($US4.58bn, EUR 3.68bn) and operating profit margin was 7.7%.

Ordinary profit was down 11.1% to JPY538.0bn ($US4.63bn, EUR 3.73bn).

Nissan sold 2,504,000 vehicles in the first three quarters, down 5.7% year on year.

Sales declined in major markets such as Japan, U.S. and the mature markets of Europe, but the automaker saw growth in markets including China, Russia and the Middle East, driven by new products and local economic growth.

During the third quarter of 2006, Nissan launched six new models including the Altima, Livina Geniss and Infiniti G35. During 2007, it will accelerate its product launch programme with 11 new models.

“It goes without saying that for fiscal year 2007, we will continue to be guided by the commitments taken under Nissan Value-Up,” added Ghosn.

“Those commitments are top-level operating profit margin; 20% return on invested capital and significant progress towards 4.2m sales in 2008.

“On top of everything that is planned through Nissan Value-Up, additional actions will be taken to boost our performance during the coming months. We will provide specific details of those plans when we announce our year-end results in April.”

Nissan Motor has revised its operating profit and its net income forecast for fiscal year 2006 to JPY775bn ($US6.67bn, EUR 5.37bn) and JPY460bn ($US3.96bn, EUR 3.19bn) respectively.