Mitsubishi Motors has reported an operating loss of 4.1bn yen in the quarter to 31 December 2020, a loss that was a considerable improvement on the 29.3bn yen posted in the previous quarter as it was hit hard by the effects of the pandemic.

Net sales in the first three quarters of MMC’s fiscal year were down 42.8% at 952.8bn yen and that loss of volume was the main factor in an 86.7bn yen operating loss for the period.

The slightly improving trend in the last quarter prompted a cut to the projected FY2020 operating loss to 100bn yen as the impact of structural reforms and other costs cuts starts to be felt.

The company has pledged to cut costs over the next few years and has announced it is reducing its presence in a number of markets in order to focus operations on Asia. It will halt production of its Pajero SUV and close the Japanese plant that makes it in 2023.

In its latest quarterly report MMC said that progress on structural reform is ahead of plans. Last year it said it is looking to “concentrate investment in core regions and technologies to enhance profitability”. Its core regional markets will remain Japan and south east Asia, with a growing emphasis on other global emerging markets in Asia, Oceania, Africa and Latin America which it has described as its “second pillar markets after south east Asia”.

A new Mitsubishi Outlander model will be unveiled later this month (February 16).