• Kyodo

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Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has announced it will resume dividend payments after a hiatus of more than 16 years. The move came as the automaker logged a record group net profit for fiscal 2013, signifying a recovery from a sales slump caused by the revelation of a coverup of vehicle defects in 2000.

The company will pay a dividend of ¥25 per share, comprising an ordinary dividend of ¥15 and a special dividend of ¥10 per share.

“We caused concern and put a burden on our shareholders by not paying dividends for a long period of time . . . We are very relieved that we could create an environment to resume dividend payments for the first time in 16 and a half years,” President Osamu Masuko said after receiving approval at a shareholders meeting on Wednesday.

“We can complete the first stage of business revitalization with the resumption of dividends,” he added.

The shareholders also accepted the appointment of 14 board members. The company is promoting Managing Director Tetsuro Aikawa to president, replacing Masuko, who was set to assume the posts of chief executive officer and chairman after a board meeting later in the day.

Under the leadership of Masuko, who took the helm in 2005, the company has made progress in improving its financial standing by conducting a public stock offering in January to buy back preferred shares held by its group companies.

The company’s group net profit for fiscal 2013 surged 175.6 percent from the previous year to a record ¥104.66 billion, supported by the yen’s depreciation and cost-cutting measures.