Japan's third-biggest automaker, Nissan Motor Co., has reported a net loss of ¥233.7 billion ($2.32 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 2009,compared to profit of ¥482 billion in the previous year but is better than the company's own forecasts disclosed at the third-quarter financial results filed on February 9, 2009.
The company's net revenue fell 22 per cent to ¥8.437 trillion ($83.78 billion), while operating loss at ¥137.9 billion ($1.37 billion) against a year-earlier profit of ¥790.8 billion and ordinary loss stood at ¥172.7 billion ($1.71 billion).
Nissan has been affected mainly by three factors the US financial crisis, the global slowdown and the strong yen said Nissan's chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga.
For the 2008 fiscal year, Nissan sold totally 3,411,000 vehicles worldwide, down 9.5 per cent. In North America, sales were 1,133,000 units, down 16.2 per cent, United States sales were 856,000 units, down 19.1 per cent. In Japan, sales were 612,000 units, down 15.1 per cent. In Europe, sales came to 530,000 units, down 16.7 per cent.
Sales in General Overseas Markets (GOM) were up 7.1 per cent at 1,136,000 units, with China remaining the only market to demonstrate growth.
In fiscal year 2008, Nissan released eight all-new models globally - Teana, Infiniti FX, Maxima, Qashqai+2, NP200, KIX mini SUV, Cube and Z.
France's Renault has a 44-per cent stake in Nissan. It is the company's first loss since chief executive Carlos Ghosn took over reigns in 1999 when Renault rescued the Japanese company from bankruptcy.
"The global economic recession and financial crisis continue, but we are beginning to see some signs of improved access to credit, the impact of government stimulus packages and a gradual return in consumer confidence," said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn. "We remain cautious about the economic environment and fully focused on our company's recovery efforts."
Nissan forecast global sales of 3.08 million units for fiscal 2009 and plans to launch eight all-new products during fiscal 2009: Pixo in Europe; Patrol in the Middle East; NV200, Fuga and a new mini in Japan; new global entry car in Asia; and G37 convertible and 370Z convertible in the United States.
"2009 will be another challenging year. Our priorities will be preserving cash, improving our profitability and pursuing deeper synergies within the Renault-Nissan Alliance," said Ghosn. "We are balancing short- and long-term objectives to manage through the crisis and to prepare for the future."
Nissan aims to return to a positive free cash flow position in the year ahead. Based on the company's outlook and assuming foreign exchange rates of 95 yen/dollar and 125 yen/euro, Nissan filed the following forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, with the Tokyo Stock Exchange:
- Net revenues of ¥6 trillion 950 billion (US $73.16 billion);
- Operating loss of ¥100 billion (US $1.05 billion);
- Net loss of ¥170 billion (US $1.79 billion);
- R&D expenses of ¥400 billion (US $4.21 billion); and
- Capital expenditures of ¥350 billion (US $3.68 billion).
''We are beginning to see some signs of improved access to credit, the impact of government stimulus packages and a gradual return in consumer confidence,'' President and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said, but was cautious about the future.
''The crisis is ongoing and market conditions are still very volatile,'' he told reporters at Nissan's Tokyo headquarters.
Nissan is not the only Japanese automaker who has posted losses with sales declining in the wake of the global economic downturn.
Toyota Motor announced its worst annual loss of 436.9 billion yen ( $4.4-billion) for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2009 and forecast further losses this year (See: Toyota Motor posts annual loss, forecast operating loss of 850 billion yen for FY2010)
Honda Motor, Japan's second-largest automaker after Toyota, reported a net loss of $1.9-billion in the fourth quarter but booked profit for the year ended March 2009, while projecting profit for the current fiscal year. (See: Honda Motors loses $1.9 billion in Q4, ends FY 2008-09 with a profit)