The positive trend at Mazda Motor Corporation remained intact after the third quarter of the fiscal year ending on 31 March 2014, as the Japanese automaker chalked up year-on-year gains in all key categories over the first nine months. Mazda’s European arm made a solid contribution, too, closing 2013 with its best quarter of vehicle sales growth for the year.

At ¥125 billion (€947 million*), global operating profit rose sharply between April and December 2013, and net income was up by over 200 per cent to ¥77 billion (€583 million). Worldwide revenue, meanwhile, reached ¥1.94 trillion (€14.7 billion), an improvement of 26 per cent versus the same period in 2012.

Mazda sold 953,000 vehicles over the nine months, which was 7 per cent more than the year before. Europe** contributed 109,000, up 27 per cent, and 35,000 in the third quarter. The latter figure marked a 41 per cent year-on-year rise. Mazda thereby ended a banner 2013 calendar year on a high note in an overall European market that contracted for the sixth consecutive year.

Strong demand for Mazda’s latest generation of vehicles has not let up. With their combination of unconventional SKYACTIV Technology and award-winning KODO – Soul of Motion designs, the Mazda CX-5 and Mazda6 have fuelled the company’s ongoing resurgence. They were joined during the quarter by the all-new Mazda3, which is selling well following its launch in Europe. The latest edition of Mazda’s all-time bestseller will further stimulate growth as its global rollout progresses over the coming months. Initial signs of recovery for the ailing European market in late 2013 should also benefit Mazda going forward. On the supply side, manufacturing capacity was given a boost last month when Mazda started production at its new plant in Mexico.

In light of the upbeat situation, Mazda has again raised its profit forecast for the full fiscal year.

The company increased its operating profit forecast by ¥20 billion to ¥180 billion (€1.35 billion), also revising its anticipated net income to ¥110 billion (€827 million), up ¥10 billion. It’s a significant improvement in both cases at more than three times the previous year’s result. As for unit sales, Mazda expects a full-year global volume of 1.325 million vehicles including 160,000 in Europe**.

* Source: Mazda Motor Corporation’s “Consolidated Financial Results for the Third Quarter of the Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2014”. Euro figures were calculated at €1 = ¥132, the average exchange rate between April and December 2013. Forecasts for the full fiscal year use an exchange rate of €1 = ¥133.

** EU, EFTA & Turkey