Nissan books $84 million Ghosn-related charges, cuts outlook

Cornelia Mascio
Febbraio 12, 2019

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) - Nissan Motor warned its annual profit will plumb six-year lows on waning global sales, underlining the challenges it faces as it also grapples with the fallout from the shocking arrest and ouster of its former chairman Carlos Ghosn. The previous projection was for a 500 billion yen (4.5 billion) profit.

Nissan Motor Co.'s profit in the October-December quarter was 70.4 billion yen ($637 million), down from 301.6 billion yen the previous year.

In addition, the automaker booked $84 million in charges related to the costs of deferred compensation to former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

The charge Nissan took could potentially bolster the case for Japanese prosecutors against the industry titan, who was arrested on November 19 and has been in jail since.

He has said he is innocent of any wrongdoing and is the target of a conspiracy to oust him from the company he helped turn around when it was on the brink of bankruptcy 20 years ago.

The amount of salary expense for Ghosn reflects what the company sees as compensation that was promised, but not yet paid.

Strains in the alliance between Renault and Nissan have been laid bare by the publication of a letter from the French carmaker's lawyers accusing its Japanese partner of breaking worldwide law in its inquiry into Carlos Ghosn.

"It is practically our first meeting", he said, declining to detail the agenda.

"So we want to raise our performance by improving the quality of sales", he added.

Another investigation is underway into the Dutch holding company, Renault-Nissan BV, that oversees combined operations. The companies have spent the past two months coping with a major reputational hit from the scandal, indictments by Tokyo prosecutors over alleged financial improprieties and an unflattering spotlight on both companies' corporate-governance controls.

Saikawa, who recently visited Senard in France, said the two sides basicly agree they want to strengthen their alliance as a "win-win", but no changes to its structure have been decided on.

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