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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 February 2006, 08:18 GMT
Nissan sees surprise profit rise
Nissan Note
Nissan is increasing its appeal in Europe and China
Japanese carmaker Nissan has reported a surprise rise in quarterly profit, boosted by sales in Europe and China.

Nissan said its operating profit for the three months to December rose by 5.2% to 219.6bn yen ($1.85bn, 1bn).

Analysts had been expecting Japan's second-biggest carmaker, which is 44% owned by France's Renault, to report a slight drop in third-quarter earnings.

While sales in Nissan's two biggest markets - the US and Japan - have fallen, sales elsewhere have picked up.

New models

Sales dropped by 19% in Japan, while in the key US market - where Nissan currently has a lack of new models on offer - they shrank by 7.1%.

However, products such as the Murano sports utility vehicle lifted sales in Europe by 25%.

Sales in China were boosted by demand for Nissan's Tiida and Teana sedans.

Overall, global retail sales during the quarter rose by 0.4% to 819,240 vehicles, Nissan said.

The company prides itself on being the world's most profitable mass-volume carmaker by operating margin.

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