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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

LACK OF NEW MODELS BLAMED

Nissan's net profit down 25.7% in first quarter


Staff writer

Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday its net operating profit fell 25.7 percent to 153.35 billion yen on sales of 2.21 trillion yen, up 3.1 percent, in the April-June quarter as there were no new model launches to boost global sales.

Despite the weak figures, President Carlos Ghosn said in a statement that Nissan will not revise its forecast for the full year as it already had predicted the decline.

Nissan has said it plans to rake in a group net profit of 523 billion yen on sales of 10 trillion yen in fiscal 2006.

"The first half is proving to be challenging as we face significant head winds and only one new model introduction," Ghosn said.

Nissan will introduce eight new models worldwide in the second half of fiscal 2006, which is expected to boost sales, the company said.

For the April-June period, Japan's second biggest carmaker said it posted a pretax profit of 156.7 billion yen, down 25.6 percent from the prior year, while its net profit increased 4.2 percent to 110.2 billion yen.

Although profit fell, sales increased slightly thanks to the cheaper yen against the euro and the dollar, which added about 100 billion yen to sales, said Joji Tagawa, Nissan's corporate vice president.

Nissan's unit sales declined in its three major markets -- Japan, the U.S. and Europe.

In the U.S. -- the biggest market -- the carmaker sold 249,000 units, down 10.6 percent, while sales in Japan dropped 17 percent to 161,000 units. Europe's sales fell 7.1 percent to 123,000 vehicles.

Hino Motors profit up Jiji Press Hino Motors Ltd. said Tuesday that its consolidated operating profit in the April-June quarter jumped 69.5 percent from a year ago to 7.371 billion yen thanks to strong truck sales in Japan and abroad and cost-cutting measures.

Group sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2006 rose 10.3 percent year on year to 294.81 billion yen.

But net profit fell 45.2 percent to 3.436 billion yen in reaction to a year-before extraordinary profit from property sales.



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