•  Operating profit up 39% to 70.2 billion yen (€545.6 million) – best result in 10 years

  •  Net income up 41% to 33.9 billion yen (€ 263.0 million)

  •  Third consecutive year of sales and revenue growth

Mazda Motor Corporation has reported significant increases in all profit levels for fiscal year 2003 and the Hiroshima-based company also claimed that operating profits were the strongest in a decade.

Consolidated revenue for 2003 was 2,916.1 billion yen (€22,623.0 million), an increase of 9% over FY2002, but operating profit soared 39% to 70.2 billion yen (€ 545.6 million) and net income, at 33.9 billion yen (€ 263.0 million), was up even more at 41%.

Mazda posted a gain in both revenue and profit for the third consecutive year. The significant increase in profits for 2003 was driven mostly by strong overall sales, favourable exchange rates and successful implementation of the company’s ABC cost reduction initiative.

During 2003, the company successfully completed the introduction of the 2 (Demio) in Europe and globally launched the RX-8 and Axela/3.

Mazda president and CEO Hisakazu Imaki said: ” We are confident that our product-led growth will continue. The business environment is expected to be tougher in 2004, however, including adverse exchange rate movements and higher raw material prices. Our goal is to deal with these challenges by continuing our strong cost reduction focus and our product-led sales momentum.”

Global vehicle sales in 2004 are projected to increase in all key markets, including Japan, the US, Europe and China. New products including the Verisa, a compact scheduled to be launched this summer in Japan, will further enhance the product line.

In the United States, full-year sales of the 3, which is receiving favourable reviews from the press, as it did in Europe, two new body variants for the 6, additional products including a turbocharged Mazdaspeed MX-5 and a strengthened sales network are expected to deliver a 10% sales increase in the coming year.

Mazda will remain focused on its ABC cost reduction efforts and is projecting to achieve significant cost savings during 2004.

Mazda is also rebalancing production capacity during 2004 with the Hiroshima F Plant closing on April 21, and Ujina Plant No. 2 commencing operations on May 26. This will allow the carmaker to expand production capacity and improve efficiency to support launches of new products.

The company projects 2004 profit levels to be in line with 2003.

Projected financial results for FY2004 are:

  • Sales revenue: 2,660 billion yen (€ 21,280.0 million), up 85.3 billion yen (€ 682.4 million) over the previous year (excluding the impact resulting from a fiscal year change for overseas subsidiaries to a year end of March 31 from December 31)

  • Operating profit: 70 billion yen (€ 560.0), down 200 million yen (€ 1.6 million)

  • Ordinary profit: 65 billion yen (€ 520.0), up 7 billion yen (€ 56.0 million)

  • Net profit: 34 billion yen (€ 272.0), up 100 million yen (€ 800,000)