TOKYO -- Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru brand vehicles, is forecasting a second straight year of losses but sees North America as a rare bright spot.
The company swung to an operating loss of ¥5.8 billion, or $59.6 million at current exchange rates, in the fiscal year that ended March 31, the Japanese automaker said today. A year earlier, Fuji Heavy Industries reported an operating profit of $562.2 million.
Looking ahead, Fuji Heavy sees the loss widening to $359.7 million as earnings are undermined by collapsing demand and a $278.5 million hit from the yens expected appreciation. A stronger yen means that overseas profits in dollars or euros translate into fewer yen when repatriated.
But the launch of the redesigned Subaru Legacy later this year is expected to buoy sales in North America, the only major region where Fuji Heavy expects an increase. Sales there are seen climbing 3.8 percent to 215,000 vehicles in the fiscal year that began April 1.
The conditions are expected to continue being tough, but we think we can still increase our sales, said Ikuo Mori, president of Fuji Heavy Industries.
Global sales are projected to fall 8.5 percent to 508,000. For the year just ended, overall sales slid to 555,000 units from 597,000 the year before.
Fuji Heavy posted a net loss of $718.5 million, compared with net income of $190.2 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 8.0 percent to $14.90 billion .