Nissan’s profit fell 70% last quarter
Nissan’s nightmare isn’t over yet.
Japan’s second-biggest automaker on Tuesday cut its sales forecast for the year after yet another lackluster earnings quarter that saw profit plunge by 70%. The company now expects to sell 5.2 million cars for the fiscal year that ends in March 2020 — 5.4% less than what it initially anticipated.
The rest of Nissan’s turnaround plan is also off track, said incoming chief financial officer Stephen Ma. He said Tuesday that the company expects to post operating profits of 150 billion yen ($1.4 billion) for the year, down from the original outlook of 230 billion yen ($2.1 billion).
Those warnings came after Nissan reported operating profit of 30 billion yen ($275 million) for the three months that ended in September, a 70% drop compared to a year earlier that also missed market estimates by a wide mark. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected Nissan to report 47.5 billion yen ($435 million) in operating profit.
Revenue for the most recent quarter fell 6.6% to 2.63 trillion yen ($24 billion), in line with analysts’ expectations.
Nissan shares closed up 1% in Tokyo on Tuesday before earnings were announced, but are down about 19% for the year.
Shares in Renault, Nissan’s largest shareholder, fell 2% in Paris following the disappointing earnings report.
Nissan has been struggling to move on from the arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn late last year. The alliance Ghosn created between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors was thrown into turmoil by Ghosn’s indictment for alleged financial misconduct. Ghosn denies the allegations and has called for the charges against him to be thrown out
There have been several executive shake-ups since Ghosn’s ouster. Nissan named Makoto Uchida as its new chief last month, after the previous CEO, Hiroto Saikawa, stepped down following an admission that he and other top Nissan executives were overpaid as part of a stock-related payment plan. Earlier this month, the company appointed Ma as the new financial chief and said several veteran executives were stepping down.
Nissan, like other global carmakers, is also facing severe challenges to the industry. The global economy’s slower-than-expected growth has decimated sales, and the U.S.-China trade war remains a big risk for manufacturers. New emission standards, driven in part by the climate crisis, have also disrupted the industry.
Nissan has also been moving losing market share everywhere, and the problem is particularly bad in the United States and Europe. In the six months that ended in September, the company sold 679,000 vehicles in the United States, giving it 7.8% of the market. It had 8.1% a year earlier. In Europe and Russia, its market share fell nearly 20% year over year.