HIROSHIMA, Japan -- The president of Mazda Motor Corp., Japan's fifth-largest automaker, said on Monday he expected profits for the fiscal year to end in March to come in around the levels forecast in November.
The automaker, one-third owned by Ford Motor Co., is projecting a net profit of $223 million and operating profit of 50 billion yen for the year to March 31, representing double-digit growth from the previous year.
"We expect to come in about where we forecast," Lewis Booth told Reuters in an interview, noting that the positive impact from the euro's rise in recent months would be offset by a weakening in the dollar/yen rate.
He added that the U.S. market had been tougher than expected, mainly due to the huge sales incentives being offered by local competitors to weather slack demand.
But Booth said he was confident that profits would keep growing in coming years, driven by a lineup of attractive new models such as the Mazda6/Atenza and the soon-to-be launched RX-8 coupe, which he called "the most exciting car in the world."