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Mitsubishi returns to profit

Mitsubishi Motors Corp reported its first operating profit in three years in the year ended March 31 and trimmed its net loss sharply although not as forecast as the company's North American operations continued to suffer.

The positive result was thanks to cost-cutting and rising vehicle sales at home and in Europe,

Japan's fourth-largest carmaker said it made an operating profit of 6.8 billion yen (£33 million), reversing the year-earlier loss of 128.5 billion (£625 million).

Mitsubishi cut its net loss to 92.2 billion yen (£449 million) from 474.8 bln (£2.3bn), still wider than what it had expected due to weak North American operations.

"As sales in Europe and Japan are now improving, I think we were on the right track in the first year of our three-year turnaround plan," Mitsubishi Motors chief financial officer Hiizu Ichikawa said at a news conference.

In January, Mitsubishi projected full-year net loss of 64 billion yen (£311 million) and operating loss of 14 billion (£68 million) on revenue of 2.22 trillion (£10.8 billion).

"Given the continued struggle in the North American business, we took necessary accounting treatment there to eliminate any hidden future risks," said Ichikawa, explaining the bigger than expected net loss.

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