February 8, 2012
Fiscal Year 2011 Third-quarter Financial Results
Joji Tagawa, Corporate Vice President, Investor Relations
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
I am pleased to report that Nissan's operational, financial and market performance has been encouraging during a period marked by continued uncertainty in the global economy. Nissan has delivered robust sales performance and remains solidly profitable, despite the challenges posed by an appreciating yen and a macro-economic environment overshadowed by Europe's sovereign debt crisis and signs of slowing economic growth. Our company has benefited from continued demand, around the world, for Nissan and Infiniti vehicles - with total industry volumes rising in almost every market.
For the nine months ending December 31st of 2011, Nissan is reporting consolidated net revenues of 6 trillion 698.4 billion yen and operating profit of 427.8 billion yen, which equates to an operating margin of 6.4%, and net income of 266.1 billion yen, which represents a 4 % net margin. Free cash flow for the auto business totaled a positive 173.0 billion yen and we remain in a net cash position of 357.2 billion yen.
During the period, Nissan continued to benefit from the prompt resumption of production following the March 2011 Japan earthquake. The company has also successfully minimized disruption caused by the flooding in Thailand. For the October to December period, the impact on production was approximately 33 thousand units in Thailand, with no effect on production in other countries. Our recovery was a testament to the hard work of employees around the world. As a result, we are confident in our ability to overcome challenges to our business with both discipline and speed.
Given this progress and despite the challenging macro-economic environment, we remain confident that Nissan will deliver solid full-year revenues and profitability, although the impact of the strong yen continues to have a negative impact on full-year fiscal 2011 results.
Before going through the financial results in more detail I will outline some of the operational highlights of the period.
FY 11, business update
The third quarter has been characterized by continued operational progress and positive strategic announcements across the group. We are encouraged by the early signs that Nissan can deliver on the demanding targets of Nissan Power 88, our mid-term business plan, targeting a sustainable operating margin of 8% as soon as possible and global market share of 8% by 2016. One of the important strategies of the plan is to optimize Nissan's zero-emission leadership.
The Nissan LEAF has become the most popular vehicle of its type in the industry. In addition, the Nissan LEAF was awarded Car of the Year in Japan. Globally, sales volumes reached a cumulative total of 22.1 thousand units through December. No other global automaker is as engaged in comprehensive activities to advance the entire system of zero emissions needed to make sustainable mobility a reality. New technologies continue to roll out including the e-NV200 concept, the home power supply system through Nissan LEAF and Nissan's own affordable quick charger.
Further innovative product launches and commitments to next generation mobility have been unveiled in recent months, including the debut of the new US-built Infiniti JX Luxury Crossover at the Los Angeles Auto Show. We also unveiled the D50, the first product model for the new Venucia brand, at the Guangzhou Motor Show in China. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan displayed the NV350 Caravan. In Delhi, we showed the Evalia seven-seat family car at the Auto Expo. And most recently, Nissan made the first presentation of the Pathfinder Concept at the North American International Auto Show.
The introduction of such vehicles aims to build on the continued popularity of our brands, particularly in the fast-growing BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Nissan is continuing to invest in localized production to meet demand in such markets. This was reflected in this reporting period by the completion of the second Huadu plant in China, alongside our Chinese partner Dongfeng. This will become the largest production complex for Nissan globally. As a result, Nissan-Dongfeng's total capacity in China will be 1.2 million units based on two shifts.
Our expansion in China has been matched by continued investment in the Americas, where last year Nissan announced plans for a new plant in Resende near Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. More recently, we have decided to increase our presence in Mexico with an all-new manufacturing complex in Aguascalientes. This facility, which will complement Nissan's two existing Mexican factories, is scheduled to begin operations in late 2013. During Phase 1 of its development, the new complex will support production of up to 175,000 units annually.
The addition of an incremental production site in Aguascalientes will pave the way for Nissan to produce more than one million units annually in Mexico in the midterm.
In calendar year 2011, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, including AvtoVaz, achieved over 8 million unit sales, making us one of the largest vehicle groups in the world.
The strategic cooperation with Daimler, which includes joint production and technology, continues to be an important area of focus. Last month in Detroit, Nissan and Daimler unveiled the latest phase of our co-operation with plans to manufacture Daimler's four cylinder gasoline engines together for Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti at Nissan's powertrain plant in Decherd, Tennessee. Production will begin in 2014, with installed capacity of 250,000 units per year once full ramp-up is achieved.
The joint venture between Nissan and Ashok Leyland is already a success story. Last month at the Delhi Auto Expo, we unveiled the JV's second vehicle, the Stile, which is expected to start production next year.
I will go now through our overall performance for the 3rd quarter in detail, starting with the unit sales numbers across the regions.
FY11, 3Q sales performance
For the nine months ending December 31, overall global industry volumes increased 3.9% to 55.78 million units. Nissan's overall sales results were up 13.6% at 3 million 429 thousand units. In each market, we once again out-performed the industry's overall volume trends, and ended the period with our global market share up 0.5 points at 6.1%.
Looking across the regions...
In Japan, Total Industry Volume - or TIV - decreased 11.3%, to 3.07 million as volumes continued to show the adverse impact of the March earthquake. Nissan contained its retail volume decline at just 2%, while our market share rose 1.3 points to 14%. Strong sales of the Serena and Juke contributed to our share gains, while sales of the Nissan LEAF reached almost 6,000 units. Furthermore, cumulative sales total approximately 10,000 units, since its launch.
In China, TIV over the period increased 4.7% to 12.6 million units. Nissan's sales increased by 20.1%, to 907,000 units. The Teana, Sunny and QASHQAI were the main contributors to our sales growth. In the October-to-December period, our sales continued to show positive momentum, increasing 26.8%, and for the full-calendar year unit sales in China grew by 21.9% to 1.25 million units, improving our market share by 1.1 points to 7.3%.
Turning to North America; In the US, TIV increased 7.5% to 9.72 million units. Nissan's sales volume increased 11.3% to 757,000 units, driven by demand for the Altima, Rogue and Versa. The Nissan LEAF also contributed to this growth with total sales of 9,200 units. Market share improved three tenths of a percent to 7.8% in the US. Meanwhile, in Canada, sales were up 2.1% to 66,400 units. In Mexico, Nissan maintained its strong market share position at 25%, with sales of 174,100 units for the period.
In Europe, TIV increased 4.1% to 13.81 million units. Nissan significantly out-performed the market, with retail sales volumes rising 20.8% to 514,000 units, and our market share increased 0.5 points to 3.7%. The Juke and QASHQAI series models were our top sales contributors. Among the market highlights, Nissan's sales in Russia increased 59.5% to 116,000 units, and our market share rose to 5.4%.
In other markets - including Africa, Latin America and the ASEAN region - our sales volume was up 14.2% to 581,000. Of those markets, Latin America was up by 33.4% to 160,200 units, with a particularly strong performance in Brazil where sales rose by 90.2% to 53,800 units. Sales in Indonesia also increased sharply, up 54.5% to 44,400 units, while sales in India more than doubled to 17,200 units.
FY11 9-month financial performance
I will now go through our overall financial performance for the period. Consolidated net revenues increased 276.6 billion yen, to 6.6984 trillion yen, primarily driven by the increase in volumes, which offset the negative foreign exchange impact.
Consolidated operating profit totaled 427.8 billion yen, yielding a 6.4% operating margin.
Net income was 266.1 billion yen, giving a net margin of 4.0%.
Operating profit was adversely impacted in the first nine months of fiscal year 2011 as negative foreign exchange movements, raw material costs and selling expenses outweighed positive contributions from the increase in volumes and our purchasing cost reduction efforts. Looking at these movements in detail:
- The 150.1 billion yen negative impact from foreign exchange came mainly from the appreciation of the yen against the U.S. dollar.
- The increase in energy and raw material costs was a negative 106.1 billion yen.
- Purchasing cost reduction efforts resulted in a saving of 154.3 billion yen.
- Volume and mix produced a positive impact of 121.9 billion yen.
- The increase in selling expenses resulted in a 95.1 billion yen negative movement.
- R&D expenses increased by 15.8 billion yen.
- Sales financing contributed 43.3 billion yen.
- Other items, which included a decrease in warranty costs, produced a positive impact of 26.5 billion yen.
It's worth pointing out that operating profits rose to 118.1 billion yen in the three months to December 31st, 2011, compared with the 114 billion yen achieved in the same period of 2010, which is an encouraging performance given the continuing strength of the yen and the impact of raw material costs.
At the end of the period, our net automotive debt continued to be in a net cash position of 357.2 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 been 446 billion yen.
In conclusion, I would like to re-emphasize that Nissan continues to make good progress, across all regions. We have delivered another solid performance in the third quarter, and have now delivered 7 consecutive quarters of profitability.
Our performance this year illustrates well-diversified and balanced growth and profitability that is not overly reliant on any one market or region. Around the world, we are seeing strong acceptance for our products, such as the Sunny, Altima, Juke, QASHQAI and, importantly, the Nissan LEAF. The reliability and emotional appeal of such vehicles is driving sales growth in all markets.
This gives us confidence that Nissan is on track to meet and achieve the demanding targets of Nissan Power 88.
The global economic environment remains volatile and we still face the headwinds of an overvalued yen and the weakness of the Euro-zone. Nissan will continue to focus on cost efficiency, free cash flow generation and balance sheet management. Nissan is determined to execute on the goals of Nissan Power 88 - while retaining the ability to react quickly to any challenges that might emerge in the year ahead.
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