TOKYO, April 28 Mazda Motor Corp
forecast on Friday a 19 percent jump in operating profit for the
current financial year as the Japanese automaker expects higher
sales volumes, particularly in North America, to help it recover
from last year's profit slump.
Japan's No. 5 automaker said it sees operating profit coming
in at 150 billion yen ($1.35 billion) in the year to March,
short of an average forecast for 180.4 billion yen from 19
analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Mazda posted a 45 percent fall in operating profit to 125.69
billion yen in the year just ended, hit by a slump in sedan
sales in Japan and North America, its biggest market where
demand has been booming for SUVs and pickup trucks.
But it expects global sales to rise 2.6 percent in the year
to March to 1.6 million vehicles, partly boosted by the launch
of its CX-5 compact SUV model earlier this year. It expects the
strongest sales growth in North America, of 5.9 percent.
Mazda, which has a big exposure to currency swings due to
its heavy reliance on exports, said currencies will have zero
impact on its operating profit this year. It is assuming an
average dollar rate of 108 yen, unchanged from last year, and
euro of 118 yen, versus 119 yen last year.
($1 = 111.1600 yen)
(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Muralikumar