NISSAN says full-year profits have increased thanks to higher sales and cost-cutting measures.

The Japanese company revealed net profits lifted ten per cent to £2.26bn for the year to the end of March.

Bosses added sales were up 20 per cent.

Loading article content

Japanese car makers have benefited from the weaker yen, which inflates overseas profits.

The firm makes the Qashqai, Juke, Note and all-electric Leaf models at its Sunderland plant.

Earlier this month, the company announced up to 365 North-East workers on temporary contracts will lose their jobs after a dip in demand.

The move is the first major reduction in staff numbers since jobs were cut at the factory in 2009, amid the global financial crisis.

Since then, Nissan's Sunderland site has set a succession of production records and staff numbers have increased to more than 7,000.

In January, the firm introduced 24-hour operations across the entire factory for the first time since production started in 1986.

Market conditions don't require the plant to be at such levels beyond the summer, however, so line two, which makes Juke and Note cars, will return from three-shift to two-shift operations from the middle of next month.

It means the 365 workers will lose their jobs next month and July.

However, the company expects the actual number of people affected to be fewer due to staff turnover.