Nissan Motor Co.'s January-March profit more than doubled to 75.3 billion yen ($941 million) as the Japanese automaker achieved record sales despite production disruptions from last year's tsunami.
Nissan annual global sales reached a record 4.85 million vehicles, showing a remarkably quick recovery from the March 2011 earthquake that ravaged much of northeastern Japan, the Yokohama-based manufacturer said Friday.
Nissan, which makes the Leaf electric car, March subcompact and Infiniti luxury model, continues to be bullish — expecting to sell 5.35 million vehicles this fiscal year, up 10 percent for another record.
It also raised its forecasts for the fiscal year through March 2013, to a 400 billion yen ($5 billion) profit, up from its earlier forecast for 290 billion yen ($3.6 billion).
President and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said Nissan held up well in recent months amid serious hardships, including a slowdown in Europe, and was gearing up for more growth, banking on solid demand in China and other emerging markets.
Ghosn said Nissan plans to be the No. 1 Asian brand in China, Russia and India.
"Overall, it is going to be a good year for the industry," he told reporters, while noting that the soaring yen was a serious worry.
A strong yen hurts all Japanese exporters like Nissan by eroding the overseas sales value.
Nissan had eked out a 30.8 billion yen profit for the January-March period last year, battered by the March 11 tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan. Quarterly sales jumped 15 percent on year to 2.71 trillion yen ($33.9 billion).
For the fiscal year through March, Nissan posted a 341.4 billion yen ($4.3 billion) profit, up 7 percent on year, on 9.4 trillion yen ($117 billion) sales, up 7.2 percent.
"It is an even more encouraging performance given the headwinds created by natural disasters, an overvalued yen and uncertain global economic conditions," said Ghosn.