Nissan became the latest Japanese company to say that a territorial dispute between its nation and China will badly hurt earnings. At some point, the Japanese government must decide whether ownership of a few small islands is worth the damage to many of its largest corporations. Nissan reported, similarly to Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC):
[I]n the first half it had an operating profit of 287 billion yen, or $3.61 billion, down 7.3% from the same period last year.
Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga said the latest figures were positive, considering the challenging period for the company.
“Nissan has delivered solid results in the first half despite the continued appreciation of the yen, volatility of the macro-economy and particularly difficult conditions in Europe,” said Shiga. “The operating margin was still respectable at 6.3%.”
Japan’s No. 2 carmaker by sales revised down its operating profit forecast for the full year 18%, factoring in impact of the yen and Europe, as well as a disruption of sales in China.
Demand has slumped in the world’s biggest auto market as Chinese consumers shunned Japanese cars amid a territorial row over the Senkaku, or Diaoyu, Islands.
Douglas A. McIntyre