YOKOHAMA, July 25 Nissan Motor Co beat
expectations with a 14 percent rise in quarterly net profit on
Thursday after stronger sales in the United States helped offset
a sluggish performance in its key Chinese market.
Japan's second-biggest automaker by sales volume said net
profit totalled 82.02 billion yen ($818.9 million) its
April-June first quarter, compared with 71.97 billion yen a year
earlier. The result was above the average estimate of 63.8
billion yen in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of five analysts.
For its fiscal year ending in March 2014, Nissan stuck to
its forecast for 420 billion yen in net profit, below
expectations of 467 billion yen in a survey of 21 analysts.
China - Nissan's biggest market for the last four years -
accounted for about a quarter of its sales volume last year,
making Nissan the most reliant on China among Japan's carmakers.
But sales for it and other Japanese automakers have suffered
since a diplomatic row between Tokyo and Beijing last September.
In the first six months of 2013, Nissan sold 591,664
vehicles in China, down 12.7 percent from a year earlier. By
contrast, sales in the United States grew 8 percent to 624,709
vehicles in the same period.
Nissan expects the United States to surpass China as its top
market this fiscal year, as it recovers from vehicle launch
hiccups last year and cuts prices on models including the Altima
sedan to stimulate demand.
Nissan, owned 43.4 percent by French alliance partner
Renault SA, is the first of Japan's big three
automakers to announce quarterly results. Japan's third-biggest
automaker Honda Motor Co will report results on July 31
and market leader Toyota Motor Corp on Aug 2.