Nissan Motor Co. logged a 46.1-percent jump in net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2013, to JPY110 billion ($1.11 billion) from JPY75.3 billion in the same period in 2012. Nissan’s fourth-quarter profit surpassed an average forecast of JPY100.8 billion by five analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Japanese carmaker expects to post 5.3 million vehicles in global retail sales in the current fiscal year ending on March 31, 2014, better than its 4.9 million sales posted in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. Nissan is the only one among Japan's top three carmakers to post a decline in global vehicle sales in the previous fiscal year, due partially to slumping sales in China resulting from anti-Japanese sentiments in the country.
China accounts for around a quarter of Nissan’s global sales. The decline in Nissan’s global vehicle sales in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013 is also attributable to a strong sales performance in 2012.
The carmaker’s slowdown in sales is raising concerns over its capability to achieve its target to grab an 8-percent global market share by March 2017, with an operating margin of 8-percent. For the nine months to December 31, 2012, Nissan had a 6.2 percent global share. The other members of the Japan Big 3 -- Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. – both logged record sales in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. Toyota and Honda posted 16.3-percent and 32.2-percent year-on-year growths, respectively. Nissan, on the other hand, was able to hike its net profit despite the sales decline, thanks to the weakening yen that helped the carmaker take advantage of earnings from overseas revenues.