Nissan profits jump as global sales hit record high

Nissan Infiniti Nissan continues to be optimistic, expecting to sell even more vehicles this fiscal year

Profits at Nissan jumped sharply in the January to March quarter as the carmaker pushed aggressively into fast-growing markets.

The company reported a net profit of 75.3bn yen ($943m; £585m), up from 30.8bn yen a year earlier.

Nissan said its global sales reached 4.8 million units in the financial year 2011, a record for the company.

Nissan recovered quickly from natural disasters in Japan and Thailand last year that disrupted supply chains.

Tough year

For the full year ending in March 2012, Nissan reported net income of 341.4bn yen, a 7% rise on the previous year.

Nissan, Japan's second-biggest carmaker, outperformed rivals Toyota and Honda, both of which reported falling profits.

Japanese carmakers have had to deal with many challenges in the past 12 months, including disruption to production lines after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Carmakers were forced to cut production and close plants because of power shortages and a problems in supplies of components.

Supply chains were disrupted again by flooding in Thailand later in the year.

In addition, a strong yen has also been hurting exporters as it makes Japanese products more expensive overseas and eats into repatriated profits.

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's chief executive, said: "It is an even more encouraging performance given the headwinds created by natural disasters, an over-valued yen and uncertain global economic conditions."

Nissan predicted an even better performance for the current financial year.

The forecast for global sales is 5.35 million units, an increase of more than 10%, while net profits are expected to be 400bn yen.

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