Mazda Motor Corporation posted considerable gains in its financial results for the first quarter of the new fiscal year, thanks most notably to increasing sales of models featuring the company’s convention-defying SKYACTIV Technology and KODO design. Sales in Europe also grew between April and June 2013 in an overall market that continues to contract.

Mazda hiked global revenue to ¥615.9 billion* (€4.77 billion), up €847 million or 21.6 per cent relative to the same period in 2012. The company’s operating profit rose by a factor of 20 to €282.95 million, while net income was a healthy €42.64 million, an improvement of around €100 million compared to the year before.

Mazda reported a global sales volume of 301,000 vehicles for the quarter. Europe contributed 46,000 to this figure, up 4.3 per cent year-on-year and thus bucking the region’s negative market trend. North America saw a 5.5 per cent hike to 95,000 units during the quarter. Sales in Japan, meanwhile, remained steady at 50,000 despite a nosedive in overall automobile sales following the expiry of a tax subsidy in Mazda’s home market.

One of the main reasons for the sales success and substantially improved profitability is the growing momentum of the two currently available SKYACTIV models – the Mazda CX-5 and the new Mazda6. The ratio of SKYACTIV models to Mazda’s worldwide total swelled to 45 per cent in the most recent quarter from 27 per cent during the same quarter in 2012. And the positive trends should only strengthen with the impending introduction of the third SKYACTIV model – the all-new Mazda3 – to major markets including Europe in the second half of the current fiscal year. The new compact is expected to help raise SKYACTIV ’s proportion to the 50 per cent mark by the time the current fiscal year ends in March 2014.

Other catalysts for the outstanding results and optimistic outlook include cost improvements, which owe a great deal to the SKYACTIV programme and Mazda’s restructuring efforts, as well as a more favourable yen exchange rate. The company has left its respective operating profit and net income forecasts for the full year unchanged at ¥120 billion (€1 billion) and ¥70 billion (€583 million), both more than double the figures for the previous year.

* Source: Mazda Motor Corporation’s “Consolidated Financial Results for the First Quarter of the Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2014”. Euro figures for the first quarter of the fiscal year ending in March 2014 were calculated at €1 = ¥129; forecasts for the full fiscal year use an exchange rate of €1 = ¥120.