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JAPAN: Mazda predicts 30% operating profit rise for fiscal 2002 first half

By just-auto.com editorial team | 1 November 2002

Mazda Motor Corporation is predicting that it will exceed its revenue, profit and return targets for the first half of fiscal year 2002.

Compared to the same period last year, Mazda expects revenue will rise 12%, operating profit will increase 30% and net income will more than quadruple.

The company, in the midst of a 'turn-around' programme, cites the weaker yen as a key factor in its improved profitability and will announce final first half results on November 12.

In a statement, Mazda also said it is on track to achieve its full-year fiscal 2002 targets for volume and revenue growth, profitability and cash flow.

Full-year net income has been revised upward from 20 billion yen to 26.5 billion yen reflecting new Japanese dealer restructuring measures also just announced.

"With new product such as the Atenza/Mazda6 and new Demio now reaching the markets, we are firmly on course," said Mazda president Lewis Booth.

"We are achieving sustainable, profitable growth, although we are seeing increased pressure on our net revenue. Looking ahead, we must continue to achieve our cost reduction targets as we did in the first half."

Since the beginning of fiscal 2002, Mazda has launched two well-received new-car lines - the Atenza/Mazda6 and redesigned Demio - both of which are seen as key to the success of the company's turn-around 'Millennium Plan'.

The Atenza/Mazda6 has been well reviewed by media world-wide and was recently named car of the year by New Zealand's National Business Review newspaper.

North American production began on October 17 at the AutoAlliance International (AAI), Mazda-Ford joint-venture assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.

The Demio small hatchback went on sale in Japan in August. Early in 2003, production of the Mazda2, as the Demio will be sold outside Japan, will begin in Valencia, Spain - a move that will help reduce the company's exposure to yen fluctuations against the euro.

Production of the third all-new car, the rotary-powered RX-8 coupe, is planned for early 2003.

Mazda noted however, that the rest of fiscal 2002 would "continue to be demanding".

"Despite the external and competitive challenges Mazda faces, we remain confident of the course laid out in the Millennium Plan," said Booth.

"And we are optimistic about our future as we continue to build on a record of delivering on our commitments."