Tokyo, Nov 12 (AFP/APP): Crisis-hit Japanese automaker Nissan said Thursday it had trimmed net loss in the second quarter and upgraded its full-year forecasts, as the global auto industry showed signs of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Nissan, which suffered a massive loss in the previous fiscal year, said its quarterly net loss shrank to 44.4 billion yen ($422 million) for the three months to September from 285.6 billion in the previous quarter. It revised upward its full-year forecast, projecting a net loss at 615 billion for the fiscal year to March 2021, compared with its earlier estimate of a 670 billion yen net loss.
Annual sales are seen at 7.94 trillion yen, up from 7.8 trillion yen forecast earlier. It said efforts to reduce fixed costs, inventory and incentives helped it mitigate the ongoing effects of the pandemic. CEO Makoto Uchida said the company’s “Nissan Next” business transformation was on track despite the crisis caused by the coronavirus. “Nissan launched ‘Nissan Next’ in May, with a clear focus on immediate recovery while putting the business back on the path to growth, he told reporters.
“I am pleased to announce that Nissan has made steady progress in the past six months.”
Still, the results illustrate the tough blow the coronavirus has dealt the firm, which was already struggling before the pandemic. In a press release, Uchida said the second half of the fiscal year would remain an “uncertain environment” and would require the firm to ensure “further financial discipline and improvement in our quality of sales”. Nissan has slashed costs, including with the closure of its Barcelona plant and cuts to production, in an attempt to get back on track. But analysts said there was still significant work to do.
“Nissan showed signs of recovery in the second quarter but the pace is still slower than that of its rivals,” said Satoru Takada, auto analyst at TIW, a Tokyo-based research and consulting firm. “Nissan is pinning its hopes on its planned release of new models, but the road ahead is still steep,” he told AFP before the announcement. “Full recovery is not yet in sight. Nissan remains at a crucial stage.”
Carmakers around the world have been battered by the coronavirus crisis this year, with many relying on government help, as it slammed the global economy into reverse and forced people to stay at home. Nissan was already battling weak demand as well as the fallout from the arrest of former boss Carlos Ghosn, currently an international fugitive after jumping bail and fleeing Japan.
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