TOKYO (AP) _ Mazda reported a 62 per cent drop in April-June
profit on Tuesday, but Japan's No. 4 automaker stuck with its
forecast for a record profit for the full year on growing global
Mazda Motor Corp., a rare bright spot in faltering Ford Motor
Co.'s group, said the latest numbers were within expectations, with
the drop resulting mainly from foreign-exchange related accounting
expenses and greater research investment.
Mazda's profit slipped to 2.48 billion yen (US$20.9 million) for
the three months ended June 30, down from 6.61 billion yen the
previous year. A weak yen usually is a plus for Japanese exporters
like Mazda but this time it resulted in some losses due to forward
foreign exchange contracts, the company said.
Quarterly sales jumped 11 per cent on-year to 814.29 billion yen
($6.85 billion), the Hiroshima-based manufacturer said.
Mazda, which makes the Miata convertible and RX-8 sports, said
it's headed for its fourth straight year of record earnings for the
fiscal year ending March 2008, with 85 billion yen ($715.5 million)
in profit, up 15 per cent from fiscal 2006.
Mazda, 33.4 per cent owned by Ford, is projecting fiscal year
sales to edge up 2 per cent to 3.320 trillion yen ($27.95 billion).
Global vehicle sales are expected to climb four per cent to 1.35
million vehicles for the fiscal year ending March 2008, up from
about 1.30 million the previous fiscal year, it said in a statement.
``Going forward, we are aiming to steady growth,'' said Mazda
representative director David Friedman.
He said the rollout of the Mazda2 in Japan was going well, and
other cars were in the works for other regions for later this year.
Mazda has been ramping up domestic production capacity,
strengthening its car lineup, developing technology and taking more
control of its dealer networks in North America.
Mazda has been restructuring since suffering a huge loss in
fiscal 2001, when it was hit by costs to trim its work force in
For the latest quarter, retail sales volumes were up in North
America on-year, especially in Canada and Mexico, totaling 108,000
vehicles, up 6 per cent from the same period a year earlier.
But sales slipped in Japan, where the auto maket has been
sluggish for years, declining seven per cent to 57,000 vehicles, it
Demand was strong for the CX-7 sport utility vehicle, BT-50 truck
and Mazda3 compact in other global markets, according to Mazda.