TOKYO May 9 Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Corp
on Tuesday forecast a near 14-fold rise in operating
profit this year, as higher sales and cost savings from its
alliance with Nissan Motor Co helps it draw a line
under last year's mileage cheating scandal.
The brighter outlook reflects the automaker's recovery from
last year's scandal in which it overstated the fuel economy on
some of its Japanese models, and led to Nissan taking a
controlling stake in the company.
Japan's sixth-largest carmaker anticipates an operating
profit of 70 billion yen ($617.07 million) in the year to March,
up significantly from 5.1 billion yen the previous year.
But the outlook was below estimates for around 89 billion
yen from 11 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Mitsubishi Motors anticipates a net profit of 68.0 billion
yen in the year to March. That's a turnaround from a net loss of
198.5 billion yen last year, when the automaker was hit by
falling domestic sales and compensation costs.
The automaker has reorganised the engineering division
involved in the mileage manipulation scandal and has improved
testing processes and compliance procedures to prevent another
It forecasts global vehicle sales will hit 1.03 million
vehicles this year, up 11 percent from last year.
Much of the growth will be driven by a 23 percent jump in
sales expected in Asia, the automaker's largest market, where it
sells around one-third of its global production.
Mitsubishi Motors has been expanding its market share in the
region, as it focuses on selling SUVs and pick-up trucks to
households with rising incomes.
The automaker is assuming an average U.S. dollar rate of 105
yen, anticipating the yen will strengthen from its trading level
against the U.S. currency of around 113 yen on Tuesday.
($1 = 113.4400 yen)
(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Randy Fabi)