Nissan today said that its net profit during October-December quarter tumbled 34.6 per cent from a year earlier, but the Japanese automaker kept its full-year profit forecast unchanged.

The company said it earned ¥54.1 billion ($582 million) during the period on sales of ¥2.21 trillion, down 5.3 per cent year-on-year. It expects to book a net profit of ¥320 billion in the fiscal year to March.

Nissan’s global vehicle sales slipped 3.8 per cent in the quarter to 1.16 million units, as a slumping European market and tough conditions in China, the world’s biggest vehicle market, weighed.

“Nissan’s performance in the third quarter did not meet our expectations,” CEO Carlos Ghosn said in a statement.

“This was primarily the result of difficult operating conditions in Europe for the entire auto industry, in China for Japanese automakers, and in the US for Nissan.”

Ghosn added that the automaker has “taken action to reignite our sales momentum and growth’’.

A weakening yen and cost-cutting allowed Nissan to keep its full-year earnings outlook unchanged, the statement said.

Net income in the nine months to December was ¥232.4 billion, down from ¥266.1 billion a year earlier, the company said.

(This article was published on February 8, 2013)
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