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TOKYO: Japanese electric motor maker Nidec said on Thursday that its first-quarter operating profit rose 35%, fueled by a recovery in global vehicle production, and kept its full-year forecast unchanged.

The results come after the Kyoto-based maker, which has bet heavily on parts for electric vehicles, reported an unusual quarterly loss in the past three months.

Operating income was ¥60.2 billion ($432 million) (¥44.7 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year). That surpassed the average profit of 43.17 billion yen in a Refinitiv survey of eight analysts.

“The business environment surrounding Nidec was extremely uneven (between divisions),” the company said in a statement.

An increase in overseas sales due to the weaker yen, increased demand for industrial and infrastructure-related services, and lower fixed costs due to restructuring in the previous fiscal year contributed to this performance.

Nidec maintained its full-year forecast of 220 billion yen in operating profit through March.

The company has invested heavily in the production and development of e-axle traction motors, which combine EV gears, motors and power control electronics, and sees rapid growth opportunities in China and parts of Europe.

Nidec said its battery EV-related business turned a profit in the first quarter despite reporting a slowdown in unit growth in China’s EV market.

“Nidec-supplied EV sales peaked in June,” Jefferies analysts wrote in a research note ahead of the earnings release. “We expect EV sales to slow month-over-month growth next month and demand to surge by the end of 2023.”

In March, Nidec nominated five candidates to ultimately succeed Shigenobu Nagamori, the outspoken 78-year-old billionaire founder who founded the company with three others 50 years ago.

One of the five will be elected president from April 2024.

The company reported its first quarterly operating loss in a decade in April this year due to huge restructuring costs and difficulties procuring semiconductors and other components.

(1 dollar = 139.4600 yen) Japan’s Nidec sees first-quarter operating profit up 35%

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