Nissan reports first-quarter results and outlook for FY2020

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2020, and the outlook for fiscal year 2020.

In the first quarter of the fiscal year, global industrywide auto sales fell by almost half amid the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting Nissan’s sales significantly. To limit the spread of COVID-19, the company suspended production at manufacturing sites around the world. Nissan’s plants have since resumed operations but face reduced utilization of their capacity due to lower sales. The company’s performance continues to be impacted by the challenging business climate.

For the April-June period, consolidated net revenue was 1.1742 trillion yen. The operating loss was 153.9 billion yen, equivalent to an operating margin of -13.1%. The net loss was 285.6 billion yen.1

First-quarter financial highlights

The following table summarizes Nissan’s financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2020, calculated under the equity accounting method for the group’s China joint venture.

(TSE report basis – China JV equity basis)2

Yen in billions

FY19 Q1

FY20 Q1

% change
year on year

Revenues

2,372.4

1,174.2

-50.5%

Operating profit

1.6

-153.9

Operating margin

0.1%

-13.1%

Ordinary profit

35.3

-232.3

Net income1

6.4

-285.6

Based on average foreign exchange rates of JPY 107.6/USD and JPY 118.6/EUR for FY20 Q1

On a management pro forma basis, which includes the proportionate consolidation of results from Nissan’s joint venture operation in China, the operating loss was 136 billion yen, equivalent to an operating margin of -10.3%. Net loss1 amounted to 285.6 billion yen.

For the first quarter, automotive net cash was 235.2 billion yen, a lower level than at the end of March. However, in June and July, Nissan secured an additional 182.4 billion yen of funds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nissan also issued 70 billion yen in corporate bonds and maintains cash on hand of more than 1.2 trillion yen. The company’s committed credit line remains unused.

Sales performance

Global total industry volume in the first quarter fell 44.5% from a year earlier to 12.49 million vehicles. Nissan’s global sales declined 47.7% to 643,000 vehicles. The company’s global market share fell 0.3 points from a year earlier to 5.2%.

In Japan, Nissan’s sales decreased 33.7% to 84,000 vehicles. Meanwhile, the company’s market share rose to more than 11%, driven by sales of the new Nissan Roox “wagon-type” kei car, which started in March. The company expects to maintain a strong market share in Japan with the addition of the new Nissan Kicks, launched in June.

In China, where Nissan reports figures on a calendar-year basis, sales fell 39.9% in the January-March period to 207,000 vehicles. At the same time, Nissan’s market share in China increased 0.5 points to 6.2%. A steady recovery from April to June is seen with a sales growth of about 4% year-on-year.

In the U.S., Nissan’s sales declined 49.5% to 177,000 vehicles. The all-new Rogue will be on sale from this fall, leading Nissan’s renewal of core models in the U.S. market.  The company is continuing to improve the quality of sales in the market, with a focus on retail.

FY2020 outlook

Given the continuing effects of COVID-19 on the global market, Nissan expects a lower business volume in fiscal year 2020. Nissan forecasts global total industry volume to decrease 16% from a year earlier to 72.04 million vehicles. For the full year, Nissan’s global retail volume is expected to decline 16.3% to 4.125 million vehicles, on par with the market trend. The company expects its global market share to achieve 5.73% which is the same level as previous fiscal year.

The company has filed the following fiscal year forecasts to the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Calculated under the equity accounting method for Nissan’s joint venture in China, the forecasts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020, are:

FY2020 outlook
TSE report basis – China JV equity basis2 (yen in billions)
Net revenue 7,800
Operating loss 470
Net loss1 670

Nissan will forgo distribution of dividends for fiscal year 2020, due to the challenges in profitability and free cash flow.

Nissan recently announced its four-year transformation plan, Nissan NEXT, to respond to the challenging economic outlook and to improve the company’s performance.

Nissan expects to reduce fixed costs, mainly driven by a decrease in depreciation costs following the impairment in the previous year, and a reduction of G&A expenses and fixed selling expenses, including advertising. The company is on track to reduce fixed costs by 300 billion yen versus FY2018. In addition, Nissan’s focus on its core model strategy, including plans to launch 12 new models in 18 months, is in progress.

In line with the Nissan NEXT transformation plan, Nissan remains committed to strengthening its product lineup globally as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to make the business more competitive and to continuously deliver customer value.