Nissan profits down 20% after quake

Nissan’s quarterly profit dropped 20% as Japanese car makers took a battering from the earthquake and tsunami disaster which disrupted production and destroyed dealerships.

Nissan’s quarterly profit dropped 20% as Japanese car makers took a battering from the earthquake and tsunami disaster which disrupted production and destroyed dealerships.

A soaring yen and rising material costs also helped to drag net profit for the fiscal first quarter down to 85 billion yen (€754m) from 106.6 billion yen (€946m) in the April-June quarter last year, Nissan Motor Co said today.

But Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn said the numbers show the maker of the Leaf electric car and Infiniti luxury models is holding up despite the huge odds.

The magnitude-9.0 earthquake in north-eastern Japan on March 11 destroyed key suppliers of components, disrupting production for all Japanese car makers.

But Nissan’s production has been recovering faster than its rivals – and Nissan officials acknowledge faster than they had expected themselves.

The result also exceeded expectations. A FactSet survey of analysts forecast a profit of 55 billion yen (€488m).

Nissan sold 1.056 million vehicles in the quarter, up 10.6% from a year earlier. Quarterly sales edged up 1.6% to 2.08 trillion yen (£18.5bn).

“Our rapid recovery from the natural disasters in March once again shows the power of Nissan in responding effectively and decisively to crisis,” Mr Ghosn said.

Last month, he disclosed a six-year growth plan, his most ambitious since the revival plan for Nissan that he set in motion in 1999. At that time, Nissan was on the verge of collapse, and Mr Ghosn was sent in by alliance partner Renault to turn it around.

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