Crisis-hit Nissan issues fresh profit warning

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Nissan issued a profit warning on Wednesday, deepening the woes of the Japanese car giant as it seeks to recover from the shock of former boss Carlos Ghosn’s arrest.

The firm downgraded its projection for net profit in the fiscal year to March 2019 from 410 billion yen ($3.7 billion) to 319 billion yen, the second cut in its forecast in recent months.

Nissan appeared to acknowledge the recent difficulties surrounding the Ghosn affair, which has cast questions over the company’s own corporate governance.

It cited as a reason for the downgrade “the adverse operating environment facing the company during the fourth quarter, and the impact of recent corporate issues on sales.”

The profit warning came as ex-chairman Ghosn awaits his fate after prosecutors hit him with a fourth set of charges over alleged financial misconduct.

Authorities suspect he syphoned off around $5 million for his personal use from money transferred from Nissan to a dealership in Oman.

Ghosn denies that charge and also insists he is innocent of all allegations against him.

In February, Nissan already slashed its full-year forecast, as it revealed that nine-month net profit had dropped 45 percent — a decline the firm blamed on rising raw material costs and foreign exchange difficulties.

It was forced to downgrade its net profit forecast for the fiscal year to March to 410 billion yen, compared to 500 billion yen earlier.

The results came as Nissan and its partners Renault and Mitsubishi Motors are seeking to turn the page on Ghosn’s arrest for financial misconduct, which has exposed a rift in the three-way tie-up.