TOKYO -- Tumbling U.S. sales dragged Mazda Motor Corp. to a full-year operating loss, and the company warned that worse results will follow in the wake of the global market meltdown.
Mazda today reported an operating loss of 28.38 billion yen, or $291.7 million at current exchange rates, in the fiscal year that ended March 31, President Takashi Yamanouchi said last week. That compared with an operating profit of $1.67 billion a year earlier.
Sales in North America, which accounts for more than a quarter of Mazdas global volume, slid 14.4 percent to 347,000 vehicles in the past fiscal year. Mazda sees business there falling an additional 6.5 percent to 290,000 this year even though the company expects the market to regain some traction in the fiscal second half, from September through March 2010.
Mazda is the latest Japanese automaker booking losses on slumping sales and unfavorable exchange rates. Yamanouchi said those trends will continue, widening Mazdas operating loss to $513.9 million in the fiscal year that began April 1.
We will continue to suffer bad news, he said.
In the fiscal year just ended, Mazdas worldwide sales fell 7.5 percent to 1.2 million cars and trucks.
Mazda also reported a net loss of $734.8 million, compared with net income of $944.0 million the year before. Revenue fell 27.0 percent to $26.06 billion.
Mazda forecast a net loss of $513.9 million as revenue sags to $20.87 billion this fiscal year.
The good news is that the downturn is seen bottoming out in the fall, Yamanouchi said. He forecast that Mazda will earn a modest operating profit in the second half of the fiscal year. Sales and production also are expected to pick up in the second half.
Still, the improvement wont be enough to offset an expected $616.7 million operating loss in the first half.
Deteriorating volume and mix are expected to cut $914.8 million off the results, while exchange rate losses lop off $986.7 million.