Friday, February 18, 2000

Mazda Announces FY2000

Mazda Motor Corporation today announced the latest financial forecast for Fiscal Year 2000, ending March 2000.

On a consolidated basis, Mazda expects to report a sales revenue of 2,140 billion yen(US $19.5 billion) and net income of 25 billion yen(US $228 million). This 25 billion yen(US $228 million) net income is the fourth highest since 1985.

Also, cash flow is expected to be a positive 260 billion yen(US $2.4 billion) as planned, an all-time record. As a result, interest-bearing net debt is expected to total 545 billion yen(US $5.0 billion), a large reduction by 285.4 billion yen(US $2.6 billion).

In today' s revised forecast, the consolidated sales revenue is expected to fall short by 90 billion yen(US $822 million) and the consolidated net income to fall short by 15 billion yen(US $137.1 million), compared to the previous forecast published at the time Mazda announced the first half results last year. The main reason for lower than projected net income this year is lower sales volume in major overseas markets.

Sharp appreciation of Japanese yen and one-time impact of an accounting change will have a significant management impact. To cope with these negative factors, Mazda has been working hard to facilitate company-wide streamlining, including vehicle cost reduction. Thanks to the streamlining efforts, Mazda expects to achieve 40 billion yen(US $365.3 million) of cost reduction as planned. Also, Mazda' s subsidiaries and affiliated companies have made substantial progress in improving their financial structures. In particular, Mazda is committed to exhaustive streamlining of its domestic dealers. The "One Operation" initiative symbolizes Mazda' s efforts. As a result, Mazda expects its 60 consolidated domestic dealers to report an aggregate of 4.2 billion yen(US $38.4 million) ordinary profit. As explained above, Mazda' s business structure is significantly improving due to group-wide exhaustive streamlining. While Mazda regretfully expects its net income to fall short of the plan this year, the achievement of the fourth largest net income since 1985 is the product of its continuous efforts to strengthen financial structure as explained above.

In domestic sales, sales volume for FY2000 is projected at 350,000 as planned. In overseas sales, however, Mazda expects to fall short of the target. Sales volume is expected to fall short of the previous projection by 20,000 to 655,000 due to lower than expected sales volume in Europe from intensified competition. By combining domestic and overseas sales, the projected total sales volume is 1,005,000. In domestic retail sales, Mazda is confident it will achieve a retail volume of 325,000. This will increase its market share for the third consecutive year to 5.6%. In particular, Mazda' s registered vehicle share will increase by 0.5 percentage points compared to the prior year to 7.0%. Mazda was previously projecting a year-end dividend of 4 yen per share. In light of the revised financial forecast with the lower projected profit, they regretfully plan to declare a year-end dividend of 2 yen per share.

FY 2000 will be closing in a little more than a month. Mazda will continue to focus on improving customer satisfaction and product quality. Mazda will also continue to focus on building strong Mazda brand image. Mazda will provide its customers with attractive products. In short, Mazda will strengthen its customer focus by directing all the corporate activities from the point of view of customers. Furthermore, Mazda will continue to improve its financial structure by reducing exposure to yen risk, facilitating group-wide cost reduction and further improving cash flows.

($1=109.50 yen Telegraph Transfer Middle Rate as of 2/17/00)

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