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DATE News (chronologically)
02/09/11
automotive
Nissan quarterly profit jumps 78 percent, Toyota drops  Nissan reported a 78 percent jump in quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecasts today as vehicle sales grew in North America, Europe and Asia, offsetting a weak performance in Japan.

Nissan's October-December net profit totaled 80.07 billion yen ($976.4 million), up from 44.97 billion yen a year earlier. Helping the Japanese automaker's bottom line was a better performance at Renault, in which Nissan owns a 15 percent stake. Cost cuts and improved model offerings were additional pluses.

Sales for Nissan's fiscal third quarter rose 5.3 percent to 2.103 trillion yen ($25.6 billion).
Nissan Motor Co., which became Japan's No. 2 automaker last year, overtaking Honda Motor Co., was upbeat after the better-than-expected performance.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s profit tumbled 39 percent in the October-December quarter to 93.6 billion yen, or $1.1 billion, as a rise in the yen to near historic highs erased the profitability of the automaker's Japanese operations.

But Toyota raised its earnings forecast Tuesday for the fiscal year ending March 31on gains derived from cost savings and expectations of higher vehicle sales in Asia and in the recovering U.S. market.

Toyota now expects full-year earnings to more than double to 490 billion yen, or $5.8 billion. While that represents a solid increase over the previous year's results, it's less than half of the annual earnings the automaker was reporting just a few years ago.

The automaker has been hit by an industry downturn as well as unfavorable currency rates and damage to its reputation, mainly in the United States, from massive recalls.

But the company drew some relief Tuesday from the U.S. Department of Transportation's conclusion that electronics were not to blame for alleged unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles. Toyota had insisted that exhaustive tests had not uncovered any electronic defect.

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