TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp. reported a 36 percent jump in operating profit in the latest quarter as the automaker's rebound gathered speed on rising sales in every key market.
Operating profit advanced to 28.1 billion billion yen ($253.9 million) in the fiscal first quarter ended June 30, from 20.6 billion yen ($186.1 million) a year earlier, the company said July 24.
Parent company net income increased 23 percent to 28.2 billion yen ($254.8 million) in the April-June period, from 23 billion yen ($207.8 million) in the previous fiscal year.
Revenue climbed 27 percent to 560 billion yen ($5.06 billion) in the three months, while worldwide retail sales grew 21 percent to 292,000 vehicles.
The robust results were buoyed by new vehicles such as the Eclipse Cross and Outlander PHEV crossovers in the United States and the Xpander MPV in Southeast Asia.
The upswing underscored the V-shaped recovery CEO Osamu Masuko has pursued in the wake of a 2016 fuel economy scandal and Mitsubishi's ensuing tie-up with former rival Nissan.
Mitsubishi has been aggressively cutting costs, partly through joint purchasing, logistics and other synergies with its new alliance partners, Renault and Nissan. Synergy savings lifted results by some 9.5 billion yen ($85.8 million) in the quarter, accounting for about a third of operating income, CFO Koji Ikeya said while announcing the financial results.
"There is a great contribution compared with last year," Ikeya said.
Mitsubishi was rolled into the Franco-Japanese alliance in late 2016, when Nissan Motor Co. took a controlling 34 percent stake following Mitsubishi's fuel economy scandal.
This year, Mitsubishi and Nissan opened a joint training center in the Philippines and a joint national distribution center in Australia. Mitsubishi has also said it would use Renault's sales financing subsidiary in the Netherlands. It is already using Nissan's sales financing in markets such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand.
Global wholesale volume soared 42 percent to 336,000 vehicles in the fiscal first quarter.
Wholesale deliveries increased 22 percent to 45,000 vehicles in North America in the three-month period and expanded 39 percent to 50,000 units in Europe.
Looking ahead, Mitsubishi kept its earnings outlook unchanged. It expects worldwide operating profit to increase 12 percent in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, while net income inches ahead 2 percent. Gains will come from rising sales and stepped-up cost control. Mitsubishi forecasts global retail sales to grow 14 percent to 1.25 million vehicles.
North American retail sales are predicted to expand 19 percent to 184,000 vehicles. European retail sales are seen increasing 8.8 percent to 210,000 vehicles.