Mazda Motor Corporation said on Tuesday that it had exceeded its revenue, profit and return objectives for the first half of fiscal year 2002.

Compared to the same period last year, revenue increased by 12%, operating profit was up 31% and net income more than quadrupled. A weaker yen was a key factor in Mazda’s improved profitability.

Mazda also reported that it is on track to achieve full year 2002 targets for volume and revenue growth, profitability and cash flow.

Full-year net income has been revised upward by 32.5%, from 20 billion yen to 26.5 billion yen, reflecting recently announced domestic dealer restructuring measures.

Mazda’s first half financial results and full year projection are unchanged from the preliminary estimates released on October 31.

“Although we are seeing increased pressure on our net revenue, we are achieving sustainable, profitable growth,” said Mazda president Lewis Booth. “Looking ahead, we must continue to achieve our cost reduction targets as we did in the first half.”

Consolidated revenue for the first half of fiscal 2002 was 1,159.3 billion yen (US$9.5billion, 9.6 billion euro), an increase of 121.1 billion yen (US$987 million, 1,005 million euro) from the same period of the previous year and an increase of 29.3 billion yen (US$239 million, 244 million euro) from the original projection.

Operating profit was 14.6 billion yen (US$ 120 million, 122 million euro), an increase of 3.4 billion yen (US$ 28 million, 29 million euro) from the same period of the previous year, and up 3.6 billion yen (US$ 30 million, 31 million euro) from the original projection.

Ordinary profit was 9.1 billion yen (US$75 million, 76 million euro), an increase of 4.3 billion yen (US$36 million, 36 million euro) from the same period of the previous year, and up 6.1 billion yen (US$51 million, 51 million euro) from the original projection.

Net income was 5.5 billion yen (US$45 million, 46 million euro), an increase of 4.2 billion yen (US$35 million, 35 million euro) from the same period to the previous year, and up 3.5 billion yen (US$29 million, 30 million euro) from the original projection.

Consolidated cash flow was negative 2.1 billion yen (US$17 million, 17 million euro). This represents a 2.1 billion yen (US$17 million, 17 million euro) shortfall from the original forecast of breakeven, more than explained by the delay in the sale of subsidiary companies.

Net debt was 453 billion yen (US$3.7 billion, 3.8 billion euro), which is a decrease of 3.9 billion yen (US$ 32 million, 32 million euro) from the end of the previous fiscal year.

On an unconsolidated basis, ordinary profit decreased compared with the same period of the previous year by 3.5 billion yen (US$28 million, 29 million euro) to 7.4 billion yen (US$61 million, 62 million euro).

This is an increase of 6.4 billion yen (US$53 million, 54 million euro) from the original projection.

Net income decreased by 2.8 billion yen (US$23 million, 23 million euro) compared with the same period of the previous year, to 3.9 billion yen (US$32 million, 32 million euro).

This is an increase of 0.9 billion yen (US$7 million, 7 million euro) from the original projection.

Fiscal 2002 will continue to be demanding for Mazda.

“Despite the external and competitive challenges Mazda faces, we remain confident of the course laid out in the Millennium Plan,” said Booth. “Our new products are proving successful in the marketplace and our brand strategy is solid. We are optimistic about our future as we continue to build on a record of delivering on our commitments.”

The projection of financial results for fiscal 2002 (from April 1 to March 31, 2003) is: Sales revenue: 2,340 billion yen (US $19.1 billion, 19.4 billion euro). Up 245.1 billion yen from FY2001 (US $1,998 million, 2,035 million euro).

Operating profit: 50 billion yen (US $408 million, 415 million euro). Up 21.5 billion yen from FY2001 (US $175 million, 179 million euro).

Net income: 26.5 billion yen (US $216 million, 220 million euro). Up 17.7 billion yen from FY2001 (US $144 million, 147 million euro).