Mazda has again raised its profit forecast for the current full fiscal year, after posting another set of strong quarterly financial results boosted by higher sales and currency effects.

The weaker yen is particularly important for Mazda, as it produces a high proportion of its vehicles in Japan and exports most of them.

The company increased its operating profit forecast for the full fiscal year to March 31, 2014, by 20 billion yen to 180 billion yen (EUR1.35 billion), also revising its anticipated net income to 110 billion yen (EUR827 million), up 10 billion yen. The revised operating profit guidance of 180 billion yen would be a new record for the company and over three times the 53.9 billion yen operating profit booked in the last fiscal year.

Mazda also said it plans to resume dividend payments for the first time in four years.

At 125 billion yen (EUR947 million), global operating profit rose sharply in the first three quarters and net income was up by over 200 per cent to 77 billion yen (EUR583 million). Worldwide revenue reached 1.94 trillion yen (EUR14.7 billion), an improvement of 26% over the same period in 2012.

In the third quarter of the financial year, Mazda said its European arm made a solid contribution, too, closing 2013 with its best quarter of vehicle sales growth for the year.

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Mazda sold 953,000 vehicles over the nine months, which was 7% more than the year before. Europe contributed 109,000 units, up 27%, and 35,000 in the third quarter. The latter figure marked a 41% year-on-year rise.

Mazda said it ended a banner 2013 calendar year on a high note in an overall European market that contracted for the sixth consecutive year.

It said that models such as the Mazda CX-5, Mazda3 and Mazda6 have fuelled the company’s sales resurgence.

Initial signs of recovery for the ailing European market in late 2013 should also benefit Mazda going forward, the company said. On the supply side, manufacturing capacity was given a boost last month when Mazda started production at its new plant in Mexico.

In 2014, Mazda expects a full-year global volume of 1.325 million vehicles sold including 160,000 in Europe.