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

The logo of Nissan Motor Co. is seen at its show room behind a traffic sign in Tokyo, Japan, February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-hoon

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co said it had booked around $84 million in charges related to under-reported compensation for ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn, and slashed its annual profit outlook on weaker global sales.

Ghosn, arrested and detained in Tokyo since Nov. 19, has been indicted in Japan on charges of under-reporting his salary at Nissan over 2010-2018. He has denied the deferred pay was illegal or required disclosure.

Nissan said on Tuesday that it had recognised around 9 billion yen ($84 million) in additional expenses linked to payments to Ghosn.

The statement was part of Nissan’s quarterly results announcement, its first since Ghosn’s November arrest on allegations of financial misconduct.

The scandal at Nissan comes at a time when the automaker, together with its domestic rivals including Toyota Motor Corp, is struggling with sluggish sales and falling profit in North America, a key market.

Their margins have been squeezed as they resorted to steep discounts to drive up demand in a competitive U.S. market where sales have plateaued near record highs.

The Japanese automaker cut its full-year profit forecast to 450 billion yen from 540 billion yen previously on persistent weakness in global sales.

Nissan based its new forecast on an assumption that the yen will trade around 110.6 yen to the U.S. dollar through March 31, from a previous forecast for 105 yen.

It, however, posted a 25.4 percent rise in third-quarter operating profit on lower discounting in the United States.

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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