Mazda's Q1 profit jumps on strong Mazda3 compact car sales
TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - Mazda Motor Corp's April-June operating profit jumped 54.4 percent from a year earlier, boosted by strong sales of the remodelled Mazda3 compact, its best-selling car, as well as a weaker yen and cost cuts, the automaker said on Thursday.
Mazda's first-quarter operating profit was 56.4 billion yen ($549.1 million), above the 49.2 billion yen mean forecast of 11 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Mazda stuck to its operating profit forecast of 210 billion yen for the year to end-March 2015.
Japan's fifth-biggest automaker by global sales volume, which struggled for years with a strong yen that made exports less profitable, launched its remodelled, fuel-efficient Mazda3 last year. Sales of the compact car rose 21.2 percent in the first half of the year.
Mazda also started to operate its new Mexico plant in January, where it is manufacturing the Mazda3.
($1 = 102.7200 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
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