sábado, 11 de maio de 2024

Nissan's profits surged 92% last year as sales grew

 Nissan Motor Co. had a pretty good fiscal 2023.

The Japanese automaker recorded a net profit of 426.6 billion yen ($2.7 billion) for the fiscal year that ended in March, marking a 92% increase. Annual sales climbed almost 20% to 12.7 trillion yen ($81.5 billion).

That’s despite a 5.2% decline in profits to 101.3 billion yen ($651.3 million) for the three-month period that ended in March. Analysts had expected 70.69 billion yen ($454 billion), according to FactSet, a data provider.

Sales grew in all but one major market — China, where Nissan has struggled to match local rivals. Retail sales in China fell by 24% to 794,000 units in Nissan’s fiscal year 2023, while production dropped 26%. That includes the past two quarters, when Nissan saw positive year-over-year growth.

The world’s largest auto market is an attractive market for carmakers, although most traditional foreign companies have had a difficult time capturing a significant amount of consumer interest. In the electric vehicle segment alone, foreign companies are competing with 123 domestic manufacturers.

“The market situation in China is highly competitive, with a somewhat frenzied price war,” Nissan CFO Stephan Ma told analysts earlier this year. “Rather than entering fiercely contested markets, we shifted our focus to the [internal combustion engine] market.”

The automaker said Thursday that the Sylphy compact remained the market-leader in China’s ICE passenger segment.

Nissan on Thursday said it will focus on developing new vehicles tailored to the market and introduce a series of new-energy vehicles under “The Arc” business plan. The company aims to launch 30 new models — 16 of which will be electric — and refresh 60% of its gas-powered vehicles by fiscal year 2026, or sometime around May 2027. The Yokohama-based carmaker aims to boost total car sales by 1 million units within three years, largely driven by the new electric offerings.

Plus, Nissan plans to invest more than $2.6 billion in battery capacity to reduce the cost of its next-generation EVs. In March, Nissan said it would explore a strategic partnership with fellow Japanese automaker Honda Motor to create “core components” related to EVs.

For the new fiscal year, which began on April 1, Nissan projects global sales to climb 7.5% to 3.7 million units and revenue to increase 7.2%. However, it predicts to record 380 billion yen ($2.4 billion) in profit through March 2025, down 11% year-over-year, because of high development costs. Global sales are expected to hit 3.7 million units.

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