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Last Updated: Monday, 26 April, 2004, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Nissan sees 12% rise in profits
Nissan Maxima
Racier models have increased sales
Japanese motor giant Nissan has announced a 12% rise in operating profits, which were lifted by strong vehicle sales overseas.

Nissan says operating profit reached 824.9bn yen ($7.6bn) in the year ending on 31 March.

The firm predicts further growth over the next four years, saying it aims to increase global sales 37% by 2008.

With new head Carlos Ghosn, Nissan has gone from near bankruptcy in 1999 to the world's most profitable car maker.

China growth

During its transformation, the company has seen job cuts, its debt reduced, as well as the introduction of racier models.

Nissan is set to introduce a three-year business plan - named "Nissan Value-Up" - from April 2005 to boost global sales to 4.2 million over the next two to three years.

Under the strategy, the car manufacturer will roll out 28 new models and launch the Infiniti luxury brand worldwide, including in Europe and Japan.

Over the past year, a decrease in the dollar's value against the yen and high advertising costs have dented profits.

But those factors were mitigated by bumper sales figures.

"We advanced our operations in China through our joint venture with Dong Feng and entered high-volume, full-size segments in the United States for the first time," Mr Ghosn said in a statement.

Net profit over the last 12 months rose 1.7% to 504bn yen while revenue surged almost 9% to over 7 trillion yen.

Nissan's domestic rival Toyota is also likely to record a record operating profit for the last year, as the car maker has also seen its sales expand overseas.

However, Honda is expected to report a fall in operating profit when it announces earnings on Tuesday.

Motor industry analyst Graeme Maxton told the BBC's World Business Report that much of the credit for Nissan's recovery belongs to Mr Ghosn.

"When he took over Nissan, he had a great deal in his favour - markets were booming in the US, the yen was weak, and he had a full product pipeline," he said.

"But he was able to implement a number of major changes and ride that wave, and he's achieved a great deal as a result."


SEE ALSO:
Nissan boom boosts Renault profit
10 Feb 04  |  Business
Nissan sees surging Chinese sales
24 Nov 03  |  Business
New Nissan hits the road
29 Nov 02  |  England


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