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Nissan boosts profits by 50%

Nissan has posted a 51 per cent rise in operating profit today and has forecast further growth powered by product launches in the key U.S. market for minivans and hot-selling sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

"Nissan's revival is a reality," says President Carlos Ghosn. "Three years ago, our business was in accelerated decline. Today, we're not only back in the global race, we're among the pacesetters."

Japan's third-largest car maker said it expected operating profit to rise to 820 billion yen ($6.8 billion) in 2003/04, up from 737 billion in the year to March 31, as it benefits from the launch of high-margin models such as the Murano SUV, the Quest minivan and Infiniti FX45 luxury crossover in the United States.

Nissan said revenues in the latest year rose 11 percent to 6.85 trillion yen, thanks to strong sales of its new March sub-compact in Japan and its Altima sedans in North America.

That compared with a year-ago profit of 489.22 billion yen.

The results, which are preliminary, were roughly in line with the market's consensus forecast of 744 billion yen and above the company's projection of 720 billion yen.

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