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Nissan posts lower Q1 profit, misses estimate

YOKOHAMA, July 27 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co. on Thursday posted a bigger-than-expected drop in its first-quarter operating profit as higher expenses offset a rise in global vehicle sales.

Japan's No. 2 automaker by car sales posted an operating profit of 153.3 billion yen ($1.38 billion) in April-June, down 12.8 percent from 175.83 billion yen a year ago. That compared with an average estimate for 171.45 billion yen from six analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Nissan maintained its forecast for operating profit in the year to March at 685.0 billion yen, down 7.7 percent from last year and below analyst forecasts for 733.23 billion yen.

The company has said it expects higher raw material costs and a minor negative currency impact to weigh on operating profit this year. ($1 = 111.2000 yen) (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Himani Sarkar)