Nissan reported that operating profit for the first quarter this year increased by 33% to 118.1 billion yen or $1.48 billion, which pales compared to the anticipated 120 billion yen average estimate of 20 analysts that Thomson Reuters polled in the past 90 days. The automaker forecasted a 28% rise in the year ahead, fueled by quick sales momentum in rising markets.
The automaker's net profit for the fourth quarter rose 145% to 75.3 billion yen. For the year to next March, the company estimated a net profit of 400 billion yen and an operating profit of 700 billion yen.
The No. 2 carmaker in Japan has outperformed domestic competitors Toyota and Honda last year since Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn has acted aggressively to enter fast-emerging markets like Russia and China.
Nissan is 43.4%-held by France's Renault and is valued at $44 billion. It has regained its supply chain quicker than its rivals after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and massive flooding in Thailand last year.
Moreover, the company has also been aggressive in changing more of the components for the automobiles it manufactures in Japan with imported parts, exploiting the effects of the strong yen.
For the year ended March, Nissan was able to achieve a rise of 1.6% in operating profit to 545.84 billion yen. On the contrary, Honda's operating profit experienced a 60% drop while Toyota faced a 24% decline.
Nissan pushed up worldwide retail sales by 15% in 2011 to a record 4.88 million automobiles, with demand increasing in all major markets including the crisis-hit Europe.
Executives at Nissan stated that they anticipated that they would be able to maintain this momentum, with the introduction of one all-new or face-lifted model on average every six weeks until March 2017. This includes the new generations of the high-volume Altima, Versa and Sentra automobiles in the U.S.