Japan’s fifth largest vehicle manufacturer, Mazda, reported a 40 per cent increase in profits last week. The company made R180 billion in turnover for the financial year 2003 to 2004.

Japan’s fifth largest vehicle manufacturer, Mazda, reported a 40 per cent increase in profits last week. The company made R180 billion in turnover for the financial year 2003 to 2004.

The company attributed its raging success to the booming demand for the Mazda2 in Europe and the worldwide sales of the RX-8 and Mazda3.

However, no real growth is forecast for this financial year due to the stronger yen and rising material costs.

President and chief executive, Hisakazu Imaki said at the announcement that the company would deal with these challenges by continuing its cost reduction focus through its increased cooperation with Ford, who owns one third of Mazda.

"We are proud that these vehicles, as well as the Renesis rotary engine, have won more than 140 awards around the globe and have contributed strongly to our improved sales in 2003,” Imaki said. “We are confident that our product-led growth will continue.”

After spending much of the last decade in the red, Mazda has repaired its earnings by focusing on value-added cars such as the RX-8 sports car.

Imaki said Mazda would continue its product-led growth through at least two new models this year, based on the MX-Micro Sport and MX-Flexa concept cars seen earlier this year.

Last year's operating profit was R42,5 billion while net profit was up 40 per cent to R20,5 billion.

Original article from Car