YOKOHAMA, Japan Feb 8 Nissan Motor Co
left its annual net profit forecast unchanged at 320 billion yen
($3.43 billion), bucking the trend among Japanese carmakers for
a more optimistic outlook as a result of the yen's depreciation.
Japan's second biggest carmaker by sales reported on Friday
a 35 percent year-on-year drop in third quarter net profit to
54.1 billion yen, citing weak demand in Europe, China and the
The results, however, still came in slightly above the
market expectation of 51.8 billion yen, according to seven
analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"Nissan's performance in the third quarter did not meet our
expectations," Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said in a statement.
"This was primarily the result of difficult operating
conditions in Europe for the entire auto industry, in China for
Japanese automakers, and in the U.S. for Nissan," he said.
Nissan sold 4.94 million vehicles in calendar year 2012
globally, up 5.8 percent from 2011, but sales in China, its
biggest market, fell 31.3 percent on average in October-December
from a year ago after anti-Japan protests broke out in
In the United States, though its redesigned Altima sedan is
selling well, Nissan is struggling to sell its older models such
as the Rogue crossover SUV.
Shares in Nissan have risen about 45 percent since
mid-November on hopes the weakening yen will boost its bottom
line, far ahead of the 30 percent rise in Tokyo's benchmark
Nikkei index over the same period.
Rivals Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co Ltd
and Mazda Motor Corp have also posted big
The Japanese currency has lost around 20 percent of its
value versus the dollar since October, which helps exporters
because they can convert profits made overseas back into yen at
a more favourable rate.
($1 = 93.2100 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Daniel Magnowski and