Mazda says it has beat the previous year's record for global vehicle sales in the first half of fiscal 2018-19, selling a total of 796,000 units globally, 1.7% ahead of the same period last year (which set a record). However, floods in Japan and lost production have hit the full-year outlook.

The company said demand for the company's crossover models remained strong worldwide and the introduction of several updated models – Mazda6, CX-3 and MX-5 – drove sales momentum towards the end of the first half.

As in the first quarter, the ASEAN region saw the highest year-on-year increase in vehicle turnover in the half from 1 April to 30 September, with unit sales surging 28% to 66,000; Japan contributed to the growth with a 6.7% lift in sales to 103,000 units. North America sold 222,000 units, a 1.6% rise on last year's half-year figures. Sales in Europe (including Russia) were 135,000 units, up 2.4% year-on-year, with strong growth in particular in Spain with 11,000 vehicles sold (+17%) and for the CX-5 with a 20% year-on-year increase in sales.

Mazda's record vehicle sales brought in revenue of 1,729.1 billion yen (EUR13.3bn), resulting in operating profit of 30.9 billion yen (EUR237.7m) and net income of 24.4 billion yen (EUR187.7m).

Japan floods drag guidance down

Mazda said its full-year forecast has been revised to reflect wholesale volume decrease from the impact of the record rains which resulted in the Japanese plants suspending operations and only recently returning to full capacity.

This resulted in a production loss of 44,000 vehicles and an estimated negative impact on operating profit of 28 billion yen. The full-year forecast of global sales volume is now 1,617,000 (previously 1,662,000) and operating profit of 70 billion yen (EUR538.5 million; previously 105 billion yen) and net income of 50 billion yen (EUR384.6 million; previously 80 billion yen).

Earlier in October, in line with its Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 strategy, the company confirmed it is on track to deploy electrification in all production models by 2030 and in November it will unveil its first next-generation model at the Los Angeles Auto Show.