TOKYO (Bloomberg) -- Nissan Motor Co. today said net income rose 37 percent to 112.1 billion yen ($1.1 billion) in the April-June quarter as deliveries rose in the United States and China, its two biggest markets.
The profit increase may signal that CEO Carlos Ghosn is gaining traction after making dozens of executive changes in November to improve execution and cut incentives in the U.S.
Operating profit in the quarter rose 13 percent to 122.6 billion yen. Sales rose 10 percent to 2.47 trillion yen.
"Encouraging demand for new products, benefits from recent plant investments, and improving market conditions in North America, China and Europe combined to lift both revenues and profits," Ghosn said in a statement. "Nissan is well placed to deliver on its outlook given our continued product offensive along with measures to enhance competitiveness, build market share and the ongoing benefits of our Alliance strategy."
Deliveries have outpaced Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. in the U.S. and China this year, as Nissan chases its targets of 8 percent operating margin and 8 percent global market share. Last financial year, Nissan posted a 4.8 percent margin, the worst among its Japanese peers, squeezed by the cost of a rapid expansion drive aimed at lifting its global market share.
"In terms of their full-year plan, they are pretty much on track," said Kota Yuzawa, an auto analyst at Goldman Sachs Group in Tokyo. "Their China sales are quite strong this year."
Nissan forecasts global deliveries will climb 8.9 percent to 5.65 million vehicles this fiscal year, representing a global market share of 6.7 percent, it said in May. Revenue will rise 3 percent to 10.79 trillion yen, while operating profit will gain 7 percent to 535 billion yen, the company said.
In North America, Nissan reaped 51 billion yen in operating profit last quarter, increasing from 41.8 billion yen a year earlier. In the U.S., Nissan overcame production delays for its key models including the Altima mid-size sedan in 2012, boosting January-June sales by 13 percent, compared with the 5 percent growth at Toyota and 1 percent decline at Honda.
The carmaker's incentives in the country fell 17 percent to $2,254 per unit in June from a year earlier, after it cut sticker price for most of its models in 2013, according to market researcher Autodata. That's still higher than most Asian car brands, including Toyota and Honda.