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JAPAN: Nissan reports strong first half performance

By Chris Wright | 4 November 2014

Despite what it describes as volatile economic conditions in several markets, strong demand for new products, rising sales in the key North American market, and the favourable impact of the yen correction against the US dollar, has seen operating profit at Nissan increasing to JPY261.9bn (US$2.54bn) for the first half of the 2014 fiscal year.

This represents a 5.1% margin on net revenues that climbed 8.2% to JPY5.14 trillion (US$49.95bn) for the period. President and chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn said: "Nissan successfully overcame challenging market conditions in the first-half of the fiscal year, delivering solid revenues and profitability amid encouraging demand for our latest models."

He added the carmaker is "on track to deliver its full-year net income guidance, reflecting the benefits of our continued product offensive, financial discipline and synergies from our Alliance strategy."

Nissan said the improvement reflected strong unit sales growth in North America and signs of stabilisation in western Europe, offsetting slower demand in Japan and continued volatility in Russia and other emerging economies. Rising demand for Qashqai, Rogue and X-Trail, each derived from the Common Module Family developed within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, contributed to the positive results.

During the first half of FY14 Nissan sold 2.58m vehicles globally, up 5.8% year-on-year. Sales of the Leaf electric vehicle passed 142,000 units and it continues to be the best-selling EV. Nissan expanded its zero-emission presence in the light commercial vehicle segment with the June launch of e-NV200.

Nissan revised its full-year sales outlook downward by 200,000 units to 5.45 million units for this fiscal year. While sales are expected to rise further in North America, this is likely to be offset by falling numbers in China and emerging markets.