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Feb 10, 7:44 AM EST

Nissan quarterly profit up on healthy sales; keeps forecasts


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Nissan quarterly profit up on healthy sales; keeps forecasts

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Nissan Goes 'Green'

TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese automaker Nissan reported Wednesday a 25 percent increase in fiscal third-quarter profit to 127.2 billion yen ($1.1 billion) on strong sales.

Nissan Motor Co. reported a 101.8 billion yen profit for the October-December period a year earlier.

The maker of the March subcompact, Infiniti luxury model and Leaf electric vehicle said quarterly sales were 3.0 trillion yen ($26 billion), up from 2.9 trillion yen.

Nissan, based in the port city of Yokohama, left its full-year forecasts unchanged at 535 billion yen ($4.6 billion) profit, up 17 percent from the year before, on 12.3 trillion yen ($107 billion) in sales, up 8 percent.

For the first nine months of the fiscal year, strong demand in North America and Europe offset weak sales in emerging markets.

"Buoyant consumer demand and rising unit sales underpinned Nissan's overall profit growth," Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said of those strong markets. "Nissan remains on track to achieve its full-year financial forecast, reflecting encouraging sales trends in the U.S. and parts of Europe."

Sales were weak in Japan in recent months, but strong in places like China and Mexico, and in the U.S., where the Altima sedan and Rogue crossover were popular, according to Nissan.

In China, the X-Trail sport-utility vehicle and Sylphy sedan were healthy sellers, it said.

Nissan trails domestic rival Toyota Motor Corp., which is the world's No. 1 automaker in global vehicle sales, topping 10 million vehicles sold around the world annually.

Combined with its alliance partner, Renault SA of France, Nissan sold 8.5 million vehicles in 2015. Of those, Nissan sold 5.4 million vehicles globally.

Nissan has been one of the most bullish automakers about autonomic drive technology. It has promised more than 10 models with such technology on the market through 2020.

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