Fuji predicts more profits
TOKYO - Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. raised its pretax profit forecast for the fiscal first half ended Sept. 30. The extra money will be used to rebuild the finances of struggling Subaru dealers in Japan and will not show up as net profit. Fuji said parent-only revenue was about ¥450 billion, or about $4.286 billion at current exchange rates, up 2.3 percent from the $4.190 billion it had predicted last May.
Pretax profit is seen at $352 million, more than double the prior forecast. The forecast for net profit is unchanged at $85.7 million, in part because of a special charge of $181 million to cover losses at subsidiaries, mainly dealerships in Japan.
MAZDA TAPS IBM JAPAN
TOKYO - Mazda Motor Corp. will outsource almost all of its information systems operations to IBM Japan Ltd. The agreement calls for IBM Japan to handle the development, maintenance and operation of Mazda's information systems. That includes Mazda's three host computers, two supercomputers, 10,000 personal computers and related networks.
Mazda will keep responsibility only for its information systems in research and development. The 101/2-year pact is valued at about ¥50 billion, or $476 million at current exchange rates.
FORD EYES EUROPE STORES
FRANKFURT - Ford of Europe is negotiating to buy stakes in several large continental European dealer groups. The development follows major retail investments by Ford in the United Kingdom and North America. Ford also is placing a priority on making its dealerships more profitable, said Earl Hesterberg, vice president of marketing, sales and service for Ford of Europe.