May 12, 2011
Fiscal Year 2010 Full-year Financial Results
Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Fiscal year 2010 was a record year for Nissan in terms of sales and growth. Coming out of the global financial crisis, Nissan again demonstrated its ability to respond decisively in the face of adversity: overcoming the immediate challenges without sacrificing any strategic priorities.
As a result of the natural catastrophe that struck Japan on March 11, Nissan and the rest of the Japanese auto industry ended the fiscal year back in recovery mode.
I also want to recognize the human side of this tragedy. Like so many families in Japan, Nissan suffered the loss of five employees and associates. Please join me in remembering them, their contributions, and reflecting on the tremendous losses experienced by so many in Japan.
As in the past, Nissan has benefitted from its unique and proven ability to successfully manage through a crisis. We have a healthy balance sheet, an experienced management team and a strong foundation from which we will be resuming our growth.
Today I will report on Nissan's full-year financial performance in fiscal year 2010 and provide an update on Nissan's status since the earthquake.
For the full year, Nissan's consolidated net revenues reached 8.773 trillion yen. Operating profits reached 537.5 billion yen, and net income amounted to 319.2 billion yen. Automotive free cash flow resulted in a positive 459.3 billion yen. Net debt for the auto business was eliminated; we had a net cash position of 293.3 billion yen at the close of fiscal 2010.
FY10 business update
Throughout fiscal year 2010, we did not allow short-term pressures to compromise Nissan's long-term priorities. Let me give you an update on two of our main priorities: the launch of affordable zero-emission cars and our ongoing expansion in China.
2010 was the year we delivered on our commitment to launch the first zero-emission, affordable car, the Nissan LEAF. After years of research and development, we launched our first affordable, all-electric car in the United States, Japan and Europe, and it was well received by consumers, environmentalists and society in general. Our vision of sustainable mobility was validated by Nissan LEAF's many accolades, including its recognition as "European Car of the Year 2011" and, most recently, "The 2011 World Car of the Year."
I could make many positive statements about what Nissan LEAF means to consumers and to our environment, but I will focus on two points:
One: Nissan was the first automaker with a mass-market affordable electric car, and being first brings a competitive advantage. Currently, we have more than 5,000 Nissan LEAFs on the road, making it by far the biggest fleet of cars built from the ground-up to be fully electric. In fact, we have more than double the number of purpose-built EVs than any automaker has ever delivered. With this first-mover advantage, we are rapidly building a wealth of data and customer feedback. By the time other automakers have their own production versions of electric cars ready for mass marketing, the Nissan LEAF will have accumulated years of real-world experience and constant innovative development. The performance gap that has already been created between Nissan and its competitors is an advantage we intend to protect.
Two: The Nissan LEAF is creating a critical brand advantage. Nissan LEAF and the other all-electric models coming to both Nissan and Renault will face very few zero-emission competitors until at least 2016. Apart from the incremental sales gains, Nissan LEAF is creating a brand halo, highlighting Nissan's technological strength and commitment to the environment. In the U.S. alone, more than 345,000 hand-raisers have expressed interest in buying a Nissan LEAF, and more than 20,000 have placed a sales reservation. Nissan LEAF is a magnet, drawing new and existing consumers closer to our brand.
Across the Alliance, we will launch eight all-electric vehicles by 2014. Through our investment in battery technology and production we are building a further competitive advantage for both Renault and Nissan. In fiscal 2010, we started construction of battery plants in Sunderland in the United Kingdom... in Smyrna, Tennessee, in the United States... and in Cacia, Portugal. By 2015, the Alliance will have the capacity to produce 500,000 batteries globally. As the zero-emission leader, the Alliance is already better placed than its competitors to compete in both mature and emerging markets, such as China, where environmental and regulatory realities and consumer demand are expected to dramatically increase the market share of electric cars.
Nissan's expansion in China has been another priority for our company in fiscal 2010. Our significant investments in China began eight years ago with our partnership with Dongfeng Motor, and our growth has been fast and strong. In 2003, we sold 94,000 cars in China. Today our annual sales exceed 1 million units, representing nearly a quarter of Nissan's total global sales and making China our largest single market.
We know that the rapidly growing number of middle-class Chinese consumers will make a car purchase one of their highest priorities as soon as they can afford to buy. So we are expanding to keep up with market demand. We just opened our Design Center in Beijing and we have invested to nearly double Nissan's production capacity in China by 2012, increasing our two-shift capacity to 1.2 million units.
Reviewing our other business highlights in fiscal 2010, we continued our investments in very affordable transportation.
In India, through our joint venture with Ashok Leyland, we announced our first price-entry commercial vehicle - the DOST - with production to begin in the second quarter of fiscal year 2011. And, taking big strides forward in our strategy to offer mobility for all, we launched localized production and sales of our global compact car in Thailand, India, China and Mexico.
In fiscal 2010, we extended our low-carbon, low-emission PURE DRIVE technologies across a range of vehicles - from high-end models, such as the advanced Infiniti M Hybrid system, to compact cars with a new 1.2-liter super-charged engine achieving 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer. PURE DRIVE allows Nissan to bring right-sized, low-emission technology to each vehicle class, making it accessible to everyone in perfect harmony with zero-emission leadership.
Nissan LEAF was one of 10 new models we launched in fiscal 2010, including:
- Juke in Japan, United States and Europe
- Elgrand, Serena and Moco in Japan
- Infiniti QX in the United States, Middle East and Russia;
- Murano CrossCabriolet and the NV Van series in the United States;
- Quest minivan in the United States and Canada; and
- Our new affordable compact sedan, launching first as the Sunny in China.
In the U.S., Nissan's NV Van was selected as the "Taxi of Tomorrow" in New York City, where it will be the exclusive vehicle of the United States's largest taxi fleet beginning in late 2013.
Other important actions taken in this fiscal year include signing a strategic cooperation with Daimler and expanding the scope of cooperation with Mitsubishi, such as the creation of our new mini car JV. With these new agreements, the Alliance is showing its ability to evolve and realize benefits from a wide range of projects and the sharing of best practices with multiple and diversified partnerships.
FY10 sales performance
In fiscal year 2010, Nissan's global sales reached a record-high level.
In a year when the total industry volume was up 12.6% - from 64.5 million units in fiscal 2009 to 72.6 million worldwide in fiscal 2010 - Nissan's global sales increased 19.1%. Our sales grew from 3.5 million in the prior year to 4 million 185 thousand units.
For the full year, our overall market share was 5.8%.
Reviewing our sales by region...starting in our home market, in Japan, Nissan sales decreased 4.7% to 600,000 units, but our market share improved one-tenth of a percent to 13%, driven by new models such as the Juke, Serena and Elgrand.
In China, our biggest market, sales outpaced the overall market growth. The total industry volume in passenger cars and light commercial vehicles grew 31.6% in calendar 2010, to 16.6 million units. Our sales grew 35.5% to 1.024 million units and market share for the full year increased to 6.2%. Our sales offensive was driven by sales of Sylphy, Teana and QASHQAI.
In the United States, the TIV increased 12.4% to 12.1 million units. Our sales increased 17.3% to 966,000 units, and we achieved a record-level 8% market share. In Mexico, sales were up 20.2%, and our share reached a market leading 23.1%. Fuel-efficient models such as Rogue and Sentra and steadily increasing sales of Infiniti models contributed to our results across the North American region.
In Europe, where the TIV was stagnant, decreasing half a percentage point, our sales increased 19.3% to 607,000 units, and our market share increased to 3.3%. Sales in Russia were nearly double the prior-year level, up to 102,500 units. In Western Europe, our sales were up 10.6%, supported by sales of Juke and the QASHQAI series of compact crossovers.
As for other markets, our sales in Latin America rose 65.7% to 169,000 units. In Thailand, our sales were up 87.6% to 64,900 units. In Indonesia, our sales increased 65.4% to 42,600 units. And our Middle East sales increased slightly, to 180,000 units.
FY10 financial performance
Our financial performance in fiscal year 2010 reflects our systematic efforts to grow and create value in all the markets where we do business. We delivered a profitable year with significant free cash flow.
Consolidated net revenues increased 16.7%, to 8.773 trillion yen.
Consolidated operating profit totaled 537.5 billion yen, compared to 311.6 billion yen in the prior year. Net income reached 319.2 billion yen, compared to 42.4 billion yen in fiscal 2009.
Explaining the operating profit variance:
- The 147.5 billion yen negative impact from foreign exchange came mainly from the appreciation of the yen against the U.S. dollar.
- The net impact from purchasing cost reduction was a positive 105.8 billion yen. This amount included a negative impact from an increase in raw materials and energy costs by 85.2 billion yen.
- Volume and mix produced a positive impact of 433.1 billion yen as a result of the increase in global sales volume.
- Selling expenses had a negative impact of 191.5 billion yen due primarily to the increase in volume.
- R&D costs increased 18.5 billion yen.
- Sales financing contributed a positive 29.5 billion yen.
- The remaining variance was a positive 15 billion yen, due mainly to the increase in profit from affiliated companies.
At the end of the fiscal year, our net automotive debt improved significantly from last year to a net cash position of 293.3 billion yen. If the yen had remained at the exchange rates that existed at the start of this fiscal year, our cash position would have come to 391.1 billion yen.
We continue to maintain a close focus on our inventory of new vehicles. Inventory stood at 610,000 units at the end of fiscal year 2010, equaling 50 days supply.
Activities since March 11 earthquake
Earlier I mentioned that the March 11 natural catastrophe had a significant effect on our business, causing Nissan to remain in recovery mode for the short term. Let me now talk about actions we have taken and countermeasures we continue to take to mitigate risks to our business.
Immediately after the earthquake, several Nissan plants and facilities reported damage, and, due to their proximity to the epicenter, Nissan's Iwaki and Tochigi plants were the hardest hit among Nissan facilities nationwide. Nissan's Earthquake Crisis Committee, led by COO, Shiga-san, has overseen the restoration of each facility. We restarted vehicle production at all our plants in Japan based on normal operations with the delivery of parts from available suppliers on April 11 - one month after the earthquake.
The Iwaki engine Plant restarted production on the VQ assembly line on April 18, and remaining lines will resume operations this month.
While the disaster left many Nissan suppliers too severely damaged to restore production and we still face supply constraints, the situation is improving. On a daily basis, we are working closely with suppliers to confirm parts availability.
Nissan is known for reacting effectively in crisis situations, but it bears repeating that the power to respond comes from inside our company. Our employees make our company strong and able to respond to adversity, demonstrating the mindsets and actions of the Nissan Way.
Our focus continues to be on delivering our products to customers as soon as possible, and our work is not yet finished. We continue to face three main challenges.
First is the disrupted supply chain. We continue to give support to key suppliers in order for them to recover as soon as possible. As a countermeasure, we are securing alternative sourcing for parts and components where we see continued risk in the supply chain.
Second, the demand for electricity in Japan may exceed supply in the upcoming summer months. To counter anticipated shortages, we will implement company-wide conservation efforts. We will consider more nighttime operations and in-house electricity generation. We will also study a policy proposed by the Japanese Automotive Manufacturers Association to change the days of operations by industry, as a countermeasure for the total shortage of electricity.
Third, we continue to address harmful rumors about radioactive contamination from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. We began conducting radiation testing on our products in March and continue to confirm the safety of all Nissan exports through proactive screening measures.
Implications on FY 2011 performance
Based on the most recent updates from our suppliers, we expect to resume full and unrestricted production, at all our plants in Japan and overseas in October.
Since the earthquake on March 11, circumstances affecting our operating environment have been changing daily. We are constantly reevaluating the impacts and adjusting our management accordingly. For these reasons, we have decided that it would be premature to provide a forecast for fiscal year 2011 at this time. But we will be targeting our shareholders meeting in June to give you our forecast for the full year.
As we enter fiscal year 2011, our priority is to take the actions and countermeasures necessary to recover from the earthquake's effects and to serve our customers as effectively as possible. Although the parts supply situation in Japan is not yet stable, we expect to restore Nissan operations and recover lost performance in October.
The earthquake has also thrown up questions concerning the future of Japan as a global manufacturing and export base.
Let me be clear: we will continue our commitment to produce 1 million cars in Japan. Nissan is growing and needs the capacity of our Japanese plants, and we believe it is important to maintain a strong and competitive manufacturing base in our home market.
Soon, we will detail our vision for the coming mid-term period. All the strategies relating to our new midterm plan have been made, and our performance in fiscal 2010 prepared a firm foundation for its launch. The new plan will be announced before our next Annual General Shareholders Meeting.
In summary.... 2010 was an unprecedented year. Nissan became the auto industry's biggest success story in the world's largest automobile market, China - and we have equally ambitious goals for other emerging markets. And thanks to the early success of the Nissan LEAF, Nissan has become the undisputed leader in sustainability, propelling the entire automobile industry toward a future that no longer relies on a single, non-renewable resource. The tragic earthquake and tsunami tested our company's resolve - but our dedicated teams have worked around the clock and have risen to the occasion. Our recovery is advancing smoothly...robustly...and Nissan is well positioned in all regions of the world for sustainable, profitable growth.
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