Mazda Motor Corporation sold a record 775,000 vehicles in the first half of its 2016-17 fiscal year, slightly more than the previous record set last year. Europe contributed 123,000 units*, up 12% year-on-year thanks above all to robust sales of the Mazda CX-3, a small SUV, and Mazda MX-5 roadster. The company also reported solid growth in China (+22% to 133,000), the ASEAN region (+18% to 54,000) and Australia (+4% to 60,000).

First-half revenue of ¥1.55 trillion (€13.1 billion) was down in yen terms because of the strengthening Japanese currency but up in both euros and dollars. Mazda reported an ¥88.3 billion (€748 million) operating profit between 1 April and 30 September and net income of ¥56.1 billion (€475 million)**.

The carmaker continues to make steady progress with new models and technology, having launched two new SUVs: the Mazda CX-4 in China and the Mazda CX-9 in North America, Australia and elsewhere. Model updates now being rolled out in Europe include the 2017 Mazda6 and 2017 Mazda3, both of which feature the innovative new SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS control technology. Production of the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF, the power retractable hardtop version of the legendary roadster, began in October, and the all-new generation of the Mazda CX-5, currently the brand’s top-selling model in Europe, will be unveiled later this month at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Mazda is also developing zero-emission vehicles as well as autonomous driving systems, taking a human-oriented development approach to find the solutions best suited to the brand’s well-known driver focus.

The carmaker reaffirmed its global sales target of 1.55 million vehicles for the fiscal year ending on 31 March 2017. It revised other full-year forecasts to reflect the stronger yen, noting that negative currency effects would be at least partially offset by cost and efficiency improvements. Mazda now projects revenue of ¥3.15 trillion (€27.2 billion), expecting an operating profit of ¥150 billion (€1.29 billion) and net income of ¥100 billion (€862 million). The company’s annual dividend remains unchanged at ¥35 per share.

* EU, EFTA & Turkey

** Source: Mazda Motor Corporation’s “Consolidated Financial Results for the First Half of the Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2017”; euro figures calculated at €1 = ¥118 for the first half and ¥116 for full-year forecasts