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Mazda to beat competitors in FY05

Mazda Motor Corporation has posted a 14.2% jump in quarterly operating profit today enabling it to kept to its full-year forecasts.

Boosted by a worldwide sales expansion, especially in emerging markets such as China, Japan's sixth-biggest carmaker is projecting the strongest profit growth of any of its domestic competitors this year.

For April-June, Mazda's overall operating profit totalled 22.82 billion yen (£115 million), as massive cost cuts, sales growth and a stronger euro offset higher spending on sales promotion and product development.

Sales rose 4.4 percent to 670.78 billion yen (£3.4 billion), putting its operating margin at 3.4%, up from 3.1% the year before. Nissan and Honda, which reported last week, had profit margins of 9.6% and 7.5% respectively.

As expected, net earnings worsened to a profit of 419 million yen (£2.1m) from 11.61 billion yen (£58.7m) a year earlier after it booked a one-off loss of 21.2 billion yen (£107.2m) mainly from a regulatory change in the accounting standards.

Retail sales were strong in Japan, Canada and other markets such as Australia, but fell in the United States and Europe.

Mazda continues to forecast, as announced in April, a rise in global wholesales to 1.178 million units for the financial year. Consolidated sales revenue is projected to increase five per cent year-on-year to 2,840 billion yen (£14.4 billion) and full-year operating profit is expected to climb nine per cent to 90 billion yen (£455m).

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