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Shizuo Kambayashi, Associated Press
A visitor enters a Nissan Motor Co. showroom at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Nissan is seeing a 3.2 percent rise in fiscal third quarter profit on healthier sales that offset production damage from flooding in Thailand. The Japanese auto company reported Wednesday October-December profit of 82.7 billion yen ($1.07 billion), up from 80.1 billion yen the same period the previous year.

TOKYO — Nissan Motor Co.'s fiscal third quarter profit rose 3.2 percent on healthier sales that offset production damage from flooding in Thailand as well as a battering on earnings from a strong yen.

Yokohama-based Nissan on Wednesday reported October-December profit of 82.7 billion yen ($1.07 billion), up from 80.1 billion yen the same period the previous year.

The Japanese automaker allied with Renault SA of France sold 1.2 million vehicles worldwide during the quarter, an increase of 19.5 percent on year.

Quarterly sales surged 10.9 percent to 2.331 trillion yen ($30.27 billion).

"Significant external headwinds such as the abnormally strong yen and floods in Thailand challenged us during the third quarter," said Nissan President and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn.

"Nissan responded decisively to these challenges, boosted by the strength of our product," he said.

Nissan, which makes the March subcompact and Infiniti luxury models, kept its forecast for the fiscal year through March 2012 unchanged at a 290 billion yen ($3.8 billion) profit.

Nissan also makes the Leaf electric vehicle, which it said was the best-selling electric vehicle ever, having sold 22,000 Leaf cars worldwide last year.

Nissan plans to start selling the Leaf in more places, including Europe this year.

Nissan said the dollar was trading at about 77 yen during the latest quarter, plunging dramatically from 83 yen the previous year. A strong yen erodes the value of Japanese products sold abroad.

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