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Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. announced Friday that its group profit increased for the first time in two years and that it logged record consolidated sales in the 2001 business year, due to cost cuts and the weakened yen.

The manufacturer of Subaru cars said its group sales for the year that ended March 31 came to a record 1.362 trillion yen, up 3.9 percent from the previous year.

Fuji Heavy’s consolidated pretax profit came to 78.2 billion yen, up 9.4 percent.

Its group net profit increased 33.8 percent to 30.2 billion yen.

The company registered a group operating profit of 88.4 billion yen, up 8.3 percent.

Fuji Heavy, owned 20 percent by General Motors Corp., said that while its domestic car sales declined 9 percent to 264,000 units, its sales overseas, mainly in the United States, rose 3.3 percent to 279,000 units.

For this business year, Fuji Heavy expects its group sales to rise 2 percent to 1.39 trillion yen.

However, the firm expects group profit to decline due to an increase in investments, including research and development.

Meanwhile, Fuji Heavy announced its five-year business plan, which targets group sales of 1.84 trillion yen by 2006, up 35 percent from 2001, and a group net profit of 57 billion yen, up 88 percent.

Under the plan, the firm aims to increase domestic car sales by 25 percent to 350,000 units, and targets overseas sales of 410,000 units by the end of March 2007.

“We are not going for volume but focusing on the quality of our unique vehicles,” said Kyoji Takenaka, president and chief executive officer of Fuji Heavy.

Subaru vehicles account for 1 percent of global automobile sales.

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