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Mitsubishi doubles profits

Mitsubishi Motors Corp says cost cuts and robust sales helped its profits more than double last year. For the year to Match 31, Mitsubishi posted a preliminary group operating profit of 83 billion yen (£433.7m) up from 40.23 billion yen last year.

Like its bigger rivals Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co, Mitsubishi is struggling to keep sales growing strongly in the key US market, where local vehicle makers are competing aggressively with price cuts.

Mitsubishi is faring much better in Japan, with car sales rising early in 2003 on healthy demand for its new Colt subcompact, a strategic model aimed at improving its image after a crippling recall scandal three years ago.

Net profit more than tripled to a preliminary 38 billion yen from 11.26 billion – the best result in Mitsubishi's history – as sales grew 24%.

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