Nissan Reports Profits Down on Third-Quarter image

Nissan report third-quarter profits down, due to weak demand in Europe, the US and China.

During the October-December period net profit decreased to 54.1 billion yen ($583 million), a fall of 35% compared with the same period last year. Sales during the third-quarter fell 5.3% to 2.2 trillion yen and 31.3% in China, Nissan’s biggest market. Still, the automaker kept its 340 billion yen target for the full year.

Nissan, and the other Japanese automakers, saw its sales drop in China due to the territorial dispute between the two nations which has begun in mid-September, while European sales have been hurt by the economic crisis.

“Nissan’s performance in the third quarter did not meet our expectations,” said chief executive Carlos Ghosn. “This was primarily the result of difficult operating conditions in Europe for the entire auto industry, in China for Japanese automakers, and in the US for Nissan.”

Japanese exporters currently rely on the weakening yen, to help them boost sales and profit. Since October the yen has lost around 20% of its value against the dollar, helping automakers in Japan convert overseas profits back into yen at a higher rate.