TOKYO -- Mazda Motor Corp.'s first-half profits rose sharply faster than revenues or unit sales.
Mazda is on track to post record full-year operating profits and net income.
Currency gains from a favorable yen exchange rate boosted the results.
Operating profits in the six months ended Sept. 30 rose 12.1 percent to 48.78 billion yen, or $431.1 million at current exchange rates.
Net income surged 66.0 percent to $274.7 million because of an extraordinary gain on the transfer of part of Mazda's pension liabilities to the Japanese government.
Revenues rose 2.4 percent to $11.94 billion. Unit sales rose 5.1 percent to 557,000.
Mazda does not report quarterly results.
Ford Motor Co. owns a controlling 33.4 percent of Mazda.
North American operating profits jumped almost four-fold, to $76.1 million from $20.4 million in the year-ago period, even though revenues and unit sales both fell 1 percent.
Fleet sales are averaging 9.9 percent of sales, down from 11 percent a year earlier and 15 percent in 2001.
Mazda blamed sales declines in North America and Europe on production constraints and the end of several models' product cycles.
Said the automaker in a statement: "Sales are expected to pick up in the second half with new model introductions and improved supply."
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