Nissan Motor Corp. saw its net income in its fourth fiscal quarter, that ended March 2014, surge 5 percent to JPY114.9 billion ($1.12 billion), thanks to bigger sales and rising operating profit in North America. The carmaker posted a 21-percent rise in revenues to JPY3.2 trillion ($31.13 billion), and an 18-percent jump in global sales to 1.52 million vehicles in the period.
The Japanese carmaker posted a 73-percent climb in operating profit in North America to JPY104.0 billion ($1.01 billion) in the three-month period, boosted by an 11-percent jump in regional sales to 443,000 vehicles. The results in North America allowed Nisan to offset weaker business in Europe and Japan.
For the quarter, Nissan saw its European operations post EUR300 million ($2.9 million) in operating profit, a turnaround from JPY11.9 billion ($115.8 million) in losses in the same period in 2013.
Despite the turnaround in the quarter, Europe is still Nissan’s weakest major market, as posted JPY23.6 billion ($229.6 million) in operating loss for the fiscal year ended March 2014, compared to slight profit a year prior.
The Japanese carmaker saw its sales in Europe rise 14 percent to 205,000 vehicles in the fourth fiscal quarter. Its European sales for the full fiscal year, however, only jumped 2 percent to 676,000 units.
According to chief executive Carlos Ghosn, a focus on brand image and product launches boosted both sales and profits in North America, citing the redesigned Rogue crossover that was rolled out in 2013.
The redesigned Rogue crossover is the first vehicle underpinned by a new common Renault-Nissan platform. While Ghosn remarked that while the US looks good for Nissan, the carmaker’s market share is still below his target of 10 percent.
Nissan North America’s market share leaped to 9.5 percent in the first three months of the year. Ghosn is targeting a 10 percent US market in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017.