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Nissan hit by tumble in profits

Kae Inoue From Shanghai Daily| February 03,2007
NISSAN Motor Co, Japan's third-largest auto maker, has seen profit unexpectedly fall for the first time in six quarters, caused by higher raw material costs, and a lack of new vehicle models.

It cut its full-year profit forecast.

Net income fell to 104.4 billion yen (US$865 million), or 25.29 yen a share, in the three months ended on December 31, compared with 135 billion yen, or 32.84 yen a share, a year earlier, the Tokyo-based auto maker said.

That was less than the 153.5 billion yen median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Sales rose 1.8 percent to 2.34 trillion yen.

Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn predicts Nissan will miss its United States and Japanese sales targets this fiscal year after introducing only one new model in the first half.

Rising prices for steel and other commodities also hurt profits for Nissan, which is 44.3 percent owned by France's Renault SA.

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