Mazda struggles to ramp up CX-50 amid Alabama labor problems

Aoyama’s assessment came as Mazda reported a big bounce back in earnings for the fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30.

Riding a tailwind of favorable exchange rates and rising sales, Mazda booked a more than fivefold increase in operating profit in the quarter.

Operating profit soared to 74.7 billion yen ($516.9 million) in the July-September period, from 13.6 billion yen ($94.1 million) the year before.

A leap in wholesale shipments, enabled by the resumption of production after interruptions earlier in the year, fueled the earnings surge.

Wholesale shipments climbed 29 percent to 284,000 vehicles in the period.

Meanwhile, Mazda’s up-market move pulled in more profitable sales. Better per-unit revenue, paired with the rising volume, added 61.2 billion yen ($423.5 million) to the quarterly results.

At the same time, the Japanese yen’s dramatic weakening against the U.S. dollar and other currencies chipped in another 38.4 billion yen ($265.7 million) to the bottom line.

The improved fundamentals helped drive a fivefold increase in net income to 70.9 billion yen ($490.6 million) in the quarter, as revenue climbed 48 percent to 1.03 trillion yen ($7.13 billion).Worldwide output increased 8 percent to 503,000 vehicles in the first six months of the fiscal year, as pandemic-related lockdowns in Shanghai ended, restoring the supply of semiconductors and other components for Japanese plants.

Crucially, output bounced back to 294,000 in the fiscal second quarter, after languishing at 209,000 in the first amid the lockdowns.

Still, Mazda forecasts that uncertainty in global semiconductor supply will drag into 2023. That is one reason the company trimmed its wholesale volume forecast by 80,000 units.

But citing windfall gains from favorable foreign exchange rates, Mazda upgraded its profit outlooks for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2023.

Operating income is now seen advancing 34 percent this year, compared to the previous fiscal year, and net income is expected to grow 59 percent.

Mazda now forecasts wholesale shipments to improve 11 percent to 1.1 million units as output returns to more normal levels.

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