Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) has joined other Japanese OEMs in announcing strong results for the first nine months of the fiscal year, boosted by the weaker yen.

MMC posted consolidated net sales of 1,518.7 billion yen for the first nine months of fiscal 2013 (April 1 through December 31, 2013), an 18% increase over the same period last fiscal year.

MMC posted an operating income of 55.4 billion yen, an increase of 135% or 96.3 billion yen over the same period last fiscal year. It said that negative factors such as decreased sales volume in Thailand and increases in sales expenses due to intensified competition in Australia, other ASEAN countries, and North America, were overcome by reductions in material and other costs in addition to favourable foreign exchange rates.

In addition, MMC said that the nine-month profits are the highest it has ever recorded for the first nine months of a fiscal year.

Global retail sales volume for the first nine months of fiscal year 2013 totalled 776,000 units, a 7% or 52,000-unit increase over the same period last fiscal year, MMC said.

Regional breakdown of sales

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Japan: Sales volume totalled 97,000 units for the term, a 5% or 5,000-unit increase year-on-year. Despite a year-on-year downturn in registered vehicles, continuing brisk sales of the June-released all-new eK Wagon and eK Custom minicars contributed to the increase, MMC said.

North America: Sales volume amounted to 70,000 units for the term, a 12% or 8,000-unit increase year-on-year. In the United States, increased sales of the Outlander Sport (RVR or ASX in some markets) core model in addition to the new Outlander introduced in June along with full-release of the Mirage (Space Star in some markets) in October contributed to the increase.

Europe: Sales volume totalled 149,000 units, a 10% or 14,000-unit increase year-on-year. The region’s year-on-year sales were boosted by factors including positive effects of the introduction of the all-new Outlander PHEV in Western Europe and the September start of production of the Pajero Sport (Montero Sport or Nativa in some markets) in Russia.

Asia & Other Regions: Sales volume came to 460,000 units, a 6% or 25,000-unit increase year-on-year. A drop in sales in Thailand, affected by factors such as the end of the government’s “first-car buyer” programme was overcome by an upturn in sales of the locally-produced ASX and Pajero Sport in China and other factors such as brisk sales in other markets in the region.

Financial forecasts unchanged

MMC said it would leave its full-year (to March 31, 2014) operating results forecast announced on December 20, 2013 unchanged. MMC forecasts a full-year sales volume of 1,065,000 units.