SALES from Sunderland’s Nissan plant have helped the car giant record a healthy six months.
The firm has unveiled its figures for the first half of the current financial year, due to finish at the end of March.
In the six months to the end of September, net income after taxes totalled 183.4billion yen (about £1.5billion), down 12 per cent on the same period last year.
But that came on the back of good sales figures – Nissan sold 2,225,000 vehicles worldwide, up 10.7 per cent compared with last year.
Global boss Carlos Ghosn was pleased with the firm’s performance in the face of not only the global recession but the ongoing problems caused by the massive earthquake which rocked Japan in March.
“Nissan has once again delivered strong first-half earnings and healthy profit margins, reflecting the innovation and consumer appeal of our vehicles in all markets around the world,” said Nissan’s President and CEO.
“In spite of unfavorable currency fluctuations, numerous natural disasters and a volatile global economy, we remain on track to deliver a significantly profitable full-year performance.”
Nissan has revised its operating profit prediction for the year upwards in the light of the first-half performance, from the 460billion yen predicted in June to 510billion yen.
Industry analyst Prof Garel Rhys said Nissan had been less affected by the problems caused by the earthquake than its Japanese rivals Honda and Mazda.
“We have heard about big problems in Japan,” he said. “Nissan certainly weren’t as badly affected – they probably didn’t have as many suppliers in the affected areas.
“They are doing a very, very good range of products in Japan, the U.S. and Europe and their performance in the UK, where they produced more than 400,000 cars in the North East, is astonishing.
“It is a very, very good performance against the very, very difficult conditions facing the motor industry worldwide.”