CAR giant Nissan has reported a 3.2% rise in its bottom line profits in its third quarter and kept its full-year profit target after healthier sales offset production damage from flooding in Thailand.
The Japanese firm, which employs nearly 5,500 people at its Sunderland plant, posted an October-to-December profit of £674m despite the weakness of the yen.
The car-maker sold 1.2 million vehicles worldwide during the quarter, an increase of 19.5% on the previous year pushing quarterly sales up 10.9% to £19bn.
Chief executive Carlos Ghosn said: “Significant external headwinds such as the abnormally strong yen and floods in Thailand challenged us during the third quarter.
“Nissan responded decisively to these challenges, boosted by the strength of our product.”
The group kept its forecast for the fiscal year through to March 2012 unchanged at a 290 billion yen (£2.3 billion) profit.
Nissan also makes the Leaf electric vehicle, which it said was the best-selling electric vehicle ever, having sold 22,000 units worldwide last year.
The Leaf will start to be made in Sunderland from next year and Nissan is looking to boost European sales this year.
Nissan has taken a more aggressive stance in responding to the yen’s prolonged strength by increasing overseas production and using more imported parts in Japan.
Its Wearside plant broke UK motor industry records with record production last year of 480,485 vehicles, up 14% on 2010.