Posted: 04/26/07 03:47 PM
April 26, 2007, 5:28AM
Mitsubishi Motors Turns a Profit
By YURI KAGEYAMA AP Business Writer
© 2007 The Associated Press
TOKYO — For the first time in four years, scandal-tainted Mitsubishi Motors turned a profit for the fiscal year through March, helped by improved sales and a relatively weak yen.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which did not break down quarterly earnings, reported Thursday group net profit of 8.7 billion yen ($73 million) for fiscal 2006, a reversal from the 92 billion yen loss it reported the previous year.
It was the first time since fiscal 2002 the Japanese automaker, which has been fighting to regain consumer trust devastated by a recall scandal several years ago, managed to earn money.
Annual sales rose 4 percent to 2.2 trillion yen ($18.5 billion).
Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Motors forecasts that it will earn 20 billion yen ($169 million) on 2.43 trillion yen ($20.5 billion) sales for the fiscal year ending March 2008, it said in a statement.
The manufacturer, part of the broader Mitsubishi group that also makes aircraft, cell phones and robots, said it got a 20 billion yen ($169 million) lift from the yen's relative weakness against the U.S. dollar, which makes exports more competitive and inflates income when repatriated.
A series of scandals have badly tarnished Mitsubishi Motors brand image, especially in Japan.
In 2000, it acknowledged it had been covering up auto defects for more than two decades, and announced a string of recalls. In 2004, however, it revealed it had failed to divulge all its problems in 2000 and had more concealed defects.
The company's sales had been lackluster even before those scandals, and has fallen behind powerful domestic rivals like Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor ***
Mitsubishi suffered earlier scandals since the mid-1990s, including a sexual harassment lawsuit in the United States and arrests of executives on criminal charges in Japan for paying off racketeers tied to gangsters.
Posted: 05/13/07 02:18 PM
Keep rocking on Mitsubishi!