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Old 07-30-2004, 07:12   #1 (permalink)
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Japan:Mazda posts US$103.7m 1st qtr profit as new models spur overseas sales

Mazda posts US$103.7m 1st qtr profit as new models spur overseas sales

Channel NewsAsia

TOKYO: Mazda Motor, Japan's fifth-largest carmaker, has reported net profit of 103.7 million dollars for the three months to June as the introduction of new models, including the sporty RX-8, spurred overseas sales.

The Hiroshima-based carmaker, in which Ford of the United States holds a 33.3 percent stake, said its group net profit in the April-June period came to 11.61 billion yen (103.7 million dollars).

The company gave no comparison with the same period a year earlier as it was the first time it has issued profit figures for the first fiscal quarter.

Recurring profit totalled 16.1 billion yen as sales rose 12.3 percent from a year earlier to 642.3 billion yen, with overseas sales accounting for 446.8 billion yen, or 69.6 percent of the total.

"We achieved solid results in the first quarter, in line with our plan, and we believe (an upward) momentum is at work," said Mazda Chief Financial Officer Gideon Wolthers in a statement.

"While we are satisfied with this result, we still have many challenges," he added, without elaborating.

Vehicle sales in the United States rose 11.7 percent to 76,000 units in the period, while European sales jumped 19.7 percent to 75,000, Mazda said.

"Higher sales in overseas markets reflected the impact of the new models, in particular the RX-8 and the Mazda3 (Axela)," the company said.

But Mazda's Japanese sales slipped 2.6 percent to 60,000.

The company left its forecast for the year to March 2005 unchanged, with net profit seen at 34 billion yen, recurring profit at 65 billion yen and revenue at 2.66 trillion yen.

- AFP
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