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Profits are down at Nissan

By Ashley Norris

Japan’s second-biggest car manufacturer is still coming to terms with the scandal of its absconded chairman

Japan's second largest car manufacturer, Nissan Motor Co, has slashed its annual operating profit forecast by 43 per cent.

A slump in new vehicle sales now means the company expects to post operating income of 85bn Japanese yen (£598m, $780m, £718m) for the year to March. This is dramatically reduced from a previous outlook of 150bn Japanese yen.

The company is reportedly exploring a series of options as it bids to return to higher profit levels. These include closing manufacturing sites, jettisoning staff and changing product lines.

It has been a turbulent few years for Nissan as it continues to come to terms with the actions of its former chairman Carlos Ghosn. The company recently launched a civil lawsuit against Ghosn seeking an initial amount of $90m which it says is: "to recover a significant part of the monetary damages inflicted on the company by its former chairman".

Ghosn is currently in Lebanon after jumping bail in Japan to escape financial misconduct charges.

The scandal has thrown into doubt the future of Nissan's alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi and has led to a management crisis, with current boss Makoto Uchida being Nissan’s third CEO since September.

To make matters worse for Nissan, its performance contrasts with upbeat forecasts from rivals Toyota and Honda.

Nissan told shareholders that it would not pay a dividend for the second half of the year. The full-year dividend will be 10 yen per share.

FURTHER READING: Renault and Nissan deny break-up is coming

FURTHER READING: Carlos Ghosn says arrest was plot to oust him as head of Nissan

FURTHER READING: Carlos Ghosn flees to Lebanon

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