Tokyo: Japan’s number three automaker Nissan Motor on Thursday announced a soaring quarterly net profit on sales of cars in Asia, stronger auto demand in the United States and cost cuts.
It posted a profit of 106.6 billion yen ($1.22 billion) for the April-June quarter, after a 16.5 billion yen loss a year earlier, and trouncing forecasts of a 68.3 billion yen increase.
Despite painting a more upbeat outlook for a sector that was ravaged by the global downturn, Nissan maintained its May forecast of a profit of 150 billion yen for the fiscal year ending March 2011, with the automaker still wary of exchange rate volatility.
Sales recovered globally in the April-June quarter led by Asia, where revenue jumped 102.5% from a year earlier to 433.7 billion yen.
“First quarter results for Nissan are good and our recovery is vigorous and ahead of schedule,” said Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn.
“Despite uncertainty surrounding the ongoing global economic recovery, raw material costs and exchange rate volatility, we are confident to achieve our full year 2010 forecast,” he said.
Japanese exporters remain anxious about the recent strength of the safe-haven yen versus the euro and the dollar amid ongoing uncertainty about the eurozone economy and doubts about the durability of a US recovery.
If sustained, a stronger yen could erode repatriated overseas profits and make goods more expensive overseas.
Nissan, which announced 20,000 job cuts at the height of the financial crisis, posted a return to the black in the financial year ended March, helped by strong emerging market demand.
For the first quarter of the current year, it posted an operating profit of 167.91 billion yen, compared with an 11.6 billion yen a year earlier, on sales of 2.05 trillion yen, up 35.3% from 1.51 trillion yen.
This year Nissan said it plans to introduce 10 new products globally, including the Japanese and US release of its all-electric Leaf, which has become the fulcrum of its green ambitions.
In a separate statement, it said it plans to spin off its industrial machinery operations into a new firm in October, which will become a fully-owned subsidiary.
Japan’s fourth-largest carmaker Mitsubishi Motors announced Thursday a narrowed net loss of 11.8 billion yen ($136 million) for the first quarter to June on sales in China and other emerging markets.
The automaker posted an operating loss of 4.5 billion yen on revenue of 403.7 billion yen, up 55.8% from the same period a year earlier.
Mitsubishi has been a frontrunner in electric cars, launching its i-MiEV model in Japan last year.
Mitsubishi and French auto-maker PSA Peugeot Citroen said last month they had launched a feasibility study on the development of powertrains for small commercial electric vehicles.