Hit hard by sliding sales in both domestic and overseas markets, Isuzu Motors Ltd. announced Friday consolidated pretax and net losses of 1.9 billion yen for the 2001 business year.

This compares with 47.4 billion yen in pretax losses suffered the previous year.

The truck maker’s consolidated net losses came to 42.9 billion yen, compared with group net losses of 66.7 billion yen a year earlier.

However, Isuzu’s group sales for the year came to 1.597 trillion yen, up 1.8 percent from the previous year.

The firm posted consolidated operating profits of 15.1 billion yen, contrasting sharply with the group operating losses of 27.3 billion yen it logged in the previous year.

Isuzu attributed the rise in group operating profits to a variety of factors, including its cost-cutting efforts and a weak yen.

The firm has just completed the first 12 months of its three-year restructuring plan.

The plan is focused on reducing the number of Isuzu group employees, slashing auto part purchasing costs and strengthening the company’s global operations.

“Our recovery plan is on track, or even ahead of schedule,” Isuzu President Yoshinori Ida said. “But amid sluggish demand for trucks, we’ve suffered a decline in sales in both domestic and overseas markets.”

In 2001, Isuzu sold 64,000 trucks domestically, a drop of 17.9 percent, while its overseas sales slid 11.9 percent to 244,000 units.

For this year, Isuzu expects its group sales to decline 14.3 percent to 1.37 trillion yen, but aims to return to profitability, with 11 billion yen in group pretax profits and 3 billion yen in consolidated net profits.

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