Amid the impact of the strengthening yen, Nissan reported a 19.7% decline in its quarterly operating profit. It had solid sales worldwide but this failed to offset the yen. For the April-June period, Nissan had an operating profit of 120.7 billion yen ($1.5 billion, 1.2 billion euros). This is lower than the average estimate from six analysts surveyed by Reuters of 142.5 billion yen. It posted a net profit of 72.3 billion yen, 15% lower than the 85 billion yen posted during the same period one year ago. It’s likely that Nissan, which is 43% owned by Renault, will underperform Toyota and Honda since its newest figures will be put side by side with strong year-earlier results.
Nissan recovered faster than other Japanese automakers from the supply interruptions that came after the natural disaster in Japan in March 2011. Toyota, which is scheduled to file a report on Aug. 3, is believed to swing to a net profit of 243 billion yen from reporting a loss of 80 billion yen the previous year. Honda, which is the No. 3 automaker in Japan, will probably post a net profit of 144.8 billion yen, almost five times the result for the previous year. It is set to report on July 31.
Nissan said that its earnings fell due to a strong yen. Japan exporters have been complaining about the steady increase in the yen’s value as it lessens their competitiveness against its rivals, such as those from South Korea. The yen also reduces its income overseas when converted into yen. On Thursday, the yen increased to 78.14 per dollar from over 83 in the middle of March, a 6.2% increase. In the three months to June, Nissan was able to sell 1.2 million vehicles worldwide, about 15.9% higher than the figure posted during the same period the past year. Last May, Nissan said that it has estimated that it will sell 5.4 million vehicles globally in the year to March 2013, higher by 10.4% from the prior year.