TOKYO, April 25 Mazda Motor Corp
forecast an 18 percent rise in net profit for the year to next
March, aiming for a second year in a row of record earnings as a
weaker yen bolsters the export-oriented automaker's business.
The company forecast a 2014/15 net profit of 160 billion yen
($1.57 billion), roughly in line with the 170 billion yen mean
estimate of 18 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
For the latest quarter to end-March, the second-tier
Japanese automaker reported a net profit of 58.3 billion yen,
nearly seven times the year-earlier result, boosted by a decline
in the value of the yen and strong sales in Japan.
In the current fiscal year, the company forecast a drop in
sales in Japan as a sales tax hike eats into demand, although
this would be more than offset by growth in key overseas
Shares of Mazda closed 0.2 percent lower ahead of the
result, compared with a 0.2 percent gain in the benchmark Nikkei
average. Since the start of the year, Mazda's shares
have lost 15 percent, roughly in line with the benchmark's 11
($1 = 102.2350 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by Edmund Klamann; Editing by Christopher Cushing)