WRAPUP 1-Japan second-tier carmakers see Q1 profit jump on U.S. sales

jueves 31 de julio de 2014 02:55 GYT

* Mazda Q1 profit jumps 54 pct

* Fuji Heavy books highest-ever Q1 profit (Combines Mazda, Fuji Heavy, Denso earnings)

By Yoko Kubota

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - Japan's second-tier automakers Mazda Motor Corp and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd posted double-digit profit growth in April-June helped by strong sales in the United States, their biggest market.

Mazda's U.S. sales jumped 18 percent helped by the launch of its remodelled Mazda3, while Fuji Heavy, the maker of Subaru brand cars, increased its U.S. market share in the first half of the year thanks to the popularity of its Forester compact SUV.

Mazda on Thursday said April-June operating profit rose 54.4 percent on year to 56.4 billion yen ($549.1 million), compared with a 49.2 billion yen mean forecast of 11 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Japan's fifth-biggest automaker by global sales volume said cost cuts and a weaker yen helped April-June profit, and kept its full-year profit forecast at 210 billion yen.

But both Mazda and Fuji Heavy saw sales drop in Japan in the first quarter partly because of a sales tax hike in April.

Mazda's Japan sales dropped 21 percent, pushed down further by slow sales of the Demio subcompact, known as Mazda2 overseas, ahead of remodelling.   Continuación...