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Mazda ups group profit forecast to record ¥110 billion

Kyodo

Mazda Motor Corp. on Wednesday raised its projected group net profit for the business year to a record ¥110 billion, up from an earlier forecast of ¥100 billion, citing benefits from the yen’s depreciation and robust sales of vehicles equipped with its Skyactiv fuel-efficient technology.

The company also raised its full-year operating profit outlook for fiscal 2013 to a record ¥180 billion from the previously projected ¥160 billion on sales of ¥2.68 trillion, up from ¥2.65 trillion announced in October.

Thanks to the robust earnings projections, Mazda plans to resume dividend payments of ¥1 per share for the first time since fiscal 2009.

The company’s global sales rose 7 percent in the April-December period to 953,000 units, helped by brisk demand of the CX-5 and Atenza, it said.

President Masamichi Kogai said at a news conference in Tokyo, however, that Mazda slashed its full-year global sales outlook by 10,000 units from the previous announcement in October amid sluggish sales in Thailand due to political turmoil there and the ending in 2012 of a government subsidy for first-time car buyers.

For the first nine months of fiscal 2013, the company’s group net profit more than tripled from a year before to a record ¥77.42 billion, boosted in part by the introduction of new models such as the Axella and the company’s cost-cutting efforts.

Operating profit in the period soared more than sixfold to ¥124.60 billion on sales of ¥1.94 trillion, up 26.4 percent.