Nissan profits boosted by US sales

Nissan car Image copyright Getty Images

Japanese carmaker Nissan has reported a 25% increase in half-year profits as strong sales in North America helped to offset weaker demand elsewhere.

For the six months to September, Nissan reported net income of 237bn Japanese yen ($2.08bn; £1.3bn).

It said it had seen "strong demand" for its new products, with rising sales in its key market of North America.

Carmakers in Japan have also been helped by a weakening yen, which gives them an edge in export markets.

Sales forecast cut

Nissan sold 2.58 million vehicles in the six-month period, which was up 5.8% compared with the same period a year ago.

"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," said chief executive Carlos Ghosn.

Nissan said it enjoyed "strong" sales growth in North America and had seen signs of "stabilisation" in western Europe.

"This offset slower demand in Japan and continued volatility in Russia and other emerging economies."

Japan's consumers are still recovering from a sales tax hike in April, while a slowdown in China, the world's largest car market, has also affected Nissan's sales on the mainland.

Nissan revised its full-year sales forecast down by 200,000 to 5.45 million reflecting lower than expected sales in China and emerging markets.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Yokohama-based manufacturer makes some 60 car models under its brands, which include Nissan, Infinity and Datsun

Weaker yen

The yen continued to lose value this week after Friday's surprise decision from the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to expand its stimulus measures.

The move was made as the central bank continues to attempt to boost Japan's economy and lift inflation.

The weaker yen has helped bring down the cost of Japanese goods sold abroad, and Nissan said it would help sales in China and some other nations.

Nissan's chief competitive officer Hiroto Saikawa said that while some people were voicing concern about the yen's weakening, that "all in all we think it is positive for industry and the economy".

Earlier this year, Nissan reported a 10% rise in full-year profits, boosted by better sales, cost-cutting and a weaker yen.

The Yokohama-based car manufacturer, which is Japan's second largest, makes some 60 models under its brands including Nissan, Infinity and Datsun.

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