Nissan takes $83m charge related to Carlos Ghosn

New cars wait for distribution at the Sunderland car assembly plant of Nissan on February 04, 2019 in Sunderland, England. Image copyright Getty Images

Nissan has taken a $9.2bn yen ($83m; £64.5m) charge tied to compensation for former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

The charge was reported in the firm’s first results since Mr Ghosn’s arrest for financial misconduct, and Nissan said it reflected additional expenses related to payments to its former boss.

The carmaker also cut its full-year profit forecast as sales weakened.

It comes as the Nissan-Renault alliance is being tested by the scandal surrounding Mr Ghosn.

The 64-year-old has been in prison since November after Nissan accused him of understating his pay.

Nissan said it now expected full-year operating profit to be 450bn yen, down from a previous estimate of 540bn yen.

The cut to its full-year outlook came despite a rise in operating profit to 103.3bn yen for the three months to December, up from 82.4bn yen a year earlier.

However, the Japanese carmaker revised its full-year forecasts “given the performance in the first nine months of the year”.

Over that period, it said global sales fell 2.1% “with growth in Japan, China and other markets offset by decreases in North America and Europe”.

Post-Ghosn era

The results are the first to be published since the arrest of its former chairman.

Mr Ghosn, the architect of the Renault-Nissan alliance, has been charged with financial misconduct and breach of trust.

He was sacked by Nissan after his arrest last year and resigned from Renault.

Renault and Nissan have pledged to continue their alliance. The new boss of Renault Jean-Dominique Senard will meet Nissan’s boss Hiroto Saikawa in Japan this week.

The BBC’s Tokyo correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes said all indications are that the Mr Senard and Mr Saikawa have very different views of what direction their post-Ghosn alliance should take.

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