Has rock bottom been hit for Nissan? CEO Hiroto Saikawa would like to think so

Has rock bottom been hit for Nissan? CEO Hiroto Saikawa would like to think so

Nissan has forecast that its earnings will continue to come under severe pressure in the current fiscal year as it posted results for the year ended March 31, 2019 that disappointed analysts. Problems in the US marketplace were compounded by the scandal that has embroiled its former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

The company said it faced an unfavourable global business climate, and incurred short-term costs due to its initiatives to improve quality of sales in the US, as well as the implementation of a warranty extension campaign covering certain vehicles.

Operating profit in fiscal year 2018 was down by 44.6% to 213.2 billion yen, on revenues of 11,574.2 billion yen (-3.2%). Net income was some 57.3% off the previous year at 319.1 billion yen.

In fiscal year 2018 (ended March 31, 2019), Nissan global unit sales fell by 4.4% to 5.516m units. In the US, Nissan's unit sales fell by 9.3% to 1.444m units, equivalent to a market share of 8.4%. Nissan sales in Europe, excluding Russia, fell by 17.8% to 536,000 units, which resulted in a market share of 3.0%. Unit sales in Russia, however, rose by 2.6% to 107,400 units.

In other markets, including Asia and Oceania, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, Nissan's sales fell by 0.4% to 815,000 units.

"Today we have hit rock bottom," Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told a news conference, Reuters reported. "We would like to recover to our original performance level in two to three years," he added.

For the coming fiscal year (ending March 31, 2020) Nissan forecasts operating profit at 230 billion yen, some 27.7% off the year just gone. Net income is projected to be 46.7% lower at 170 billion yen.

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