June 26, 2012
Annual General Shareholders' Meeting
Fiscal year 2011 was a record year for Nissan in terms of sales and growth. Despite natural disasters and currency exchange headwinds, Nissan again demonstrated its ability to manage successfully through crisis. In each case, we quickly focused on the actions required to protect the company and to ensure business continuity. I would like to thank you, our shareholders, for your loyalty and support towards Nissan. Based on the strategy we have in place for the company and the strong momentum created in 2011, we look forward with confidence on the year ahead.
Before I highlight our plans for fiscal year 2012, I would like to ask Shiga-san to give you the operational review of our performance in 2011.
[Shiga COO: Speech delivered in Japanese]
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am Shiga, Chief Operating Officer.
I will be begin with a summary of Nissan's sales performance in fiscal 2011.
2011 Sales Performance
Global industry volumes increased by 4.2% to 75.7 million units. Nissan's global sales amounted to 4.845 million units, a 15.8% increase year-on-year and an all-time record for our company. Our sales evolution outperformed the industry with Nissan ending the fiscal year with our global market share up 0.6 points at 6.4%
Now, please let me review our sales by region.
In Japan, TIV increased 3.3% year-on-year. Our sales reached 655,000 units, 9.2% above the previous year. Nissan's market share rose 0.8 points to 13.8%. Strong sales of the Serena and Note contributed to our share gains, while sales of the Nissan LEAF reached 8,700 units.
In China, Our sales grew 21.9% to 1,247,000 units and maintained the largest growth among all Japanese automakers. Five models, Sunny, Teana, Sylphy, Qashqai and Tiida, achieved annual sales of more than 100,000 units each.
In the United States, we sold 1.08 million units, up 11.8% from the previous year, driven by strong demand for Altima, Rogue and Sentra. The Nissan LEAF also contributed to this growth with total sales of 11,000 units.
In Europe including Russia, Nissan sold 713,000 units, up 17.5% from the prior year.
In other markets - including Africa, Latin America and the ASEAN region - our sales volumes were up 16.4% to 826,000 units. Among those markets, Latin America, Brazil, Indonesia and India showed a particularly strong performance.
Key Actions in 2011
Against a turbulent environment caused by factors out of our control, Nissan made substantial progress across many fronts during 2011.
In defining Nissan Power 88, the word Power symbolizes our goals for brand and sales development, combined with greater focus on the overall customer experience. The numerals 88 represent our targets for achieving 8% global market share and a sustainable 8% operating profit margin. The six-year timeframe reflects our confidence to make the necessary strategic investments in products, technologies and geographic growth that will benefit the company far beyond the end of the plan.
Turning to specific actions during 2011, let me start with the core of the company: our products and technologies.
Under Nissan Power 88, we will deliver one new vehicle every six weeks, on average, for the six years of the plan. That means broadening our range of models not only for Nissan and Infiniti, but creating new vehicles to support the return of the iconic Datsun brand.
Last year, we launched five new models globally: the Tiida in China, the Lafesta Highway Star in Japan, front-drive and rear-drive versions of the NV400 commercial van in Europe and the Infiniti JX in the United States.
During 2011, the Nissan LEAF passed the sales milestone to make it the world's most successful electric vehicle. In total, we sold 23,000 units last year and a cumulative more than 32,000 units since the start of sales in late 2010.
During 2011 we made new investments to expand our global manufacturing footprint and we further utilized the Alliance and our growing network of partners.
In China, Nissan's largest global market, we started production at the second Huadu plant building the Tiida hatchback. Huadu is now our largest manufacturing facility worldwide with annual production capacity of 600,000 units.
In Brazil and Mexico we announced new manufacturing plants in Resende and Aguascalientes respectively. These investments will contribute towards building 2 million units of production capacity in the Americas by 2014, up from 1.2 million units last year.
In March we announced the return of Datsun. We are now preparing for the return of this iconic brand in India, Indonesia and Russia starting in 2014. The Datsun brand will bring modern, high-value and robust products to the rapidly expanding middle classes in these important growth markets.
Our Light Commercial Vehicle business passed a significant milestone in 2011 with sales exceeding 1 million vehicles for the first time and keeping us on track to make Nissan the world's largest LCV manufacturer by 2016.
FY11 Financial Performance
I will now detail our financial performance for fiscal year 2011. Consolidated net revenues increased 635.9 billion yen to 9.409 trillion yen, primarily driven by the increase in volumes, which was partially offset by the negative foreign exchange impact, especially from the strength of the Yen.
Consolidated operating profit totaled 545.8 billion yen, yielding a 5.8% operating margin.
Net income was 341.4 billion yen, resulting in a net margin of 3.6%.
Finally, we finished the year in a net cash position with 619.8 billion yen.
For non-consolidated figures, please refer to the business report in the convocation letter you have received.
Now, I would like to turn the program back over to Mr. Ghosn, who will review the outlook of fiscal 2012 and our future actions based on our mid term business plan, NP88.
Thank you Shiga-san
Despite economic challenges in several major markets, we still expect total industry sales for the fiscal year 2012 to reach 79.7 million units, a 5.3% increase compared to last year.
For Nissan, we forecast another record year for the company with sales planned to reach 5.35 million units, an increase of 10.4% compared to last year. We expect our global market share to grow from 6.4% to 6.7%.
In consequence of our planned performance, we have announced the following financial forecast. We have used a foreign exchange rate assumption of 82 yen to the dollar and 105 yen to the euro:
- Net revenue is forecast to be 10.3 trillion yen.
- Operating profit is expected to be 700 billion yen.
- Net income is forecast to be 400 billion yen.
During 2012 we will completely renew three of our large volume global models. The first to be launched is the new Altima which went into production last month at our Smyrna plant in the United States. In total, we will launch ten all-new vehicles in 2012 including the Pathfinder, Sylphy/Sentra, NV350 Caravan and a long wheelbase version of the Infiniti M sedan. The first new model to be launched this year in Japan is the new Cima which you can see displayed here on the stage.
Of the 90 new technologies we will launch during Nissan Power 88, 15 will be introduced this year including an expanded Multi-Sensing System built on the Around View Monitor image processing technology. We will also launch our next generation XTRONIC CVT. Nissan is the recognized global leader in CVTs and this latest generation provides a 10% fuel economy benefit compared to the current model.
During 2012 we will continue our expansion into new and emerging markets. We launched the first product from our new Chinese local brand, Venucia in April. The creation of Venucia allows us to compete for the first time in the price entry segment of the Chinese market.
Moving to our premium business, last month we opened the new global headquarters for Infiniti in Hong Kong. Infiniti is a growth brand and an increasingly important asset for Nissan. During our business plan period, Infiniti will grow from 145,000 vehicles last year to 200,000 in 2012 with an enlarged premium range and towards 500,000 vehicles as a milestone, or 10% of the facing premium market. In the same period, Infiniti will expand from selling in 45 markets to over 70.
Under Nissan Power 88, we have made both brand power and sales power a specific focus for the company. A strong brand helps our business in every measurable area of the sales and marketing process. In 2012 we will focus on enhancing the overall opinion of the Nissan brand.
Our initial efforts are being recognized with Nissan being named last year as both a Top 100 global brand and the most improved brand by the influential Interbrand Group. This year our first ever global brand campaign is being rolled out in locations such as major international airports reaching hundreds of millions of people with the same consistent message.
On the screen you will see examples of this campaign including one advert featuring Nissan GT-R customer and the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt.
This is a good example of how we are seeking to use the power of storytelling, or Kotozukuri, to better connect with our customers. As a Japanese company, we have always respected and valued the power of Monozukuri. Through our efforts to better communicate our brands, we now seek to use the power of Kotozukuri as a way to build meaningful and lasting relationships with our customers.
Our focus on sales power is driving the expansion of our dealer network in high-growth and emerging markets using a proven and scientific geomarketing strategy to optimize dealer coverage and increase customer convenience. This year, we will expand our global network by opening 750 new dealer locations - the largest annual increase during Nissan Power 88. We will also increase our sales per outlet - a key measure of operational efficiency.
Nissan has the most enduring and successful network of global partners. This network extends from our alliance with Renault, to our growing strategic cooperation with Daimler to Ashok Leyland, Mitsubishi and now Avtovaz. At a time when many manufacturers are just starting to work together, Nissan has a proven track record of managing successful relationships with other automakers. In calendar year 2011, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, including AvtoVaz, achieved more than 8 million unit sales, making us one of the top three automobile groups in the world.
In 2012, progress will continue with all partners:
Together with Renault and AvtoVaz, Nissan is working towards a 40% share of the growing and important Russian market. In 2011, the Alliance took 32% of the Russian market with Lada at 20.4%, Renault at 6% and Nissan at 5.6%. Last month we signed an MOU expanding our relationship with AvtoVaz and in the second half of this year, we will launch our first locally-built entry-level car, the Almera.
With Daimler, we are developing an all-new entry Infiniti model which will be created using their latest vehicle architecture. Last month we started construction on a new facility at our Decherd engine plant in the United States. Nissan will use this facility to manufacture engines for Mercedes and Infiniti.
In partnership with Indian manufacturer Ashok Leyland, the Dost pickup truck is already the market leader in the six states where it was launched and is well positioned to help us grow our LCV presence in the Indian market during 2012.
With Mitsubishi we are working on an all-new minicar for Japan through a joint-venture company established to lead the design and engineering for both companies.
In addition to our work on environmental and safety technologies, Blue Citizenship includes the contributions we make to society through activities of our CSR department. In 2011, our focus was naturally on Japan and aiding the recovery efforts in Tohoku following the earthquake and tsunami.
Thanks to the generosity of our employees, suppliers and partners we were able to make a meaningful effort to the lives of those affected by the tragic events last year. Our actions included:
- A global employee gift-matching program for financial donations;
- The supply of 4x4 vehicles and Nissan LEAFs for use in the stricken areas;
- The donation of two Nissan Atlas trucks to build Mobile Libraries, one of which is on display today;
- Thousands of hours of time given by our employees to help rebuild communities,from Global Headquarters and the Nissan Technical Centers.
Throughout the world, in the countries and communities where we do business, Nissan continues to invest to improve the lives of people. You can see more of our actions detailed in our Report, which is named "Blue Citizenship Stories". Copies were distributed today in the reception area.
Global Nissan President Award
The events of March 11th not only showed the compassion of our company, but it demonstrated that the power of Nissan truly comes from inside. Each year we recognize outstanding performance and contributions by employees through the Global Nissan President Award.
This year, the decision to recognize the teams and individuals who helped the company recover quickly from the earthquake in Japan and floods in Thailand was clear cut and obvious.
The Award to Employees goes to a cross-functional, cross-regional and cross-company team comprised of 10 functions and five regions and affiliates.
Members of the teams who have been recognized by the Employee Award are joining us here today and I would like to ask them to stand and ask that you recognize their contributions and performance.
Thank you to all for your hard work and direct impact to the positive results of the company during 2011.
Dividend and Conclusion
Based on our outlook, the delivery of Nissan Power 88 actions presented today and our expectations for continued solid free cash flow generation, we are forecasting a 25% increase in the dividend to 25 yen per share for fiscal year 2012.
As we start the New Year, Nissan stands as a company re-tooled and ready to accelerate its growth.
Together with a stronger brand, investments in products, technologies and global capacity, we have the tools to achieve Nissan Power 88 and beyond.
On behalf of Nissan's Board and Nissan's executive committee, I pledge our commitment to work hard and build the future you expect for Nissan in the years to come. In turn, we ask for continuing support as Nissan continues to evolve as a leading global automaker and a responsible promoter of sustainable and accessible mobility.
You can continue to expect the best from Nissan
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