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by Tim Beissmann

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation recorded a 40.3 billion yen ($452 million) operating profit in the 2010 financial year, but faces uncertain times ahead in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disasters of March 11.

The profit represented an increase of almost 190 percent over the previous financial year, when the company made 13.9 billion yen ($156 million). It comes on the back of higher unit sales volume, which were largely the result of growth in emerging markets and the introduction of new models.

Revenue from sales was up an impressive 26 percent to 1,829 billion yen ($20.5 billion), with global sales topping 1.1 million units.

The largest sales sector was Asia and Other Regions, where the brand posted 629,000 sales – up 18 percent compared with the 2009 financial year. Mitsubishi attributes the positive result to booming demand in China, as well as strong growth in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brazil.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited enjoyed a 9.6 percent sales increase in the 2010 calendar year, with 62,496 vehicles sold locally.

Europe was the second largest market, with sales rising 29 percent to 218,000 on the back of strong ASX sales and the commencement of domestic production of the Outlander in Russia.

North America showed a slight sales increase while Japan suffered as a result of the end of eco-car subsidies in September 2010 and March’s natural disasters.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced that it is not prepared to release forecast data for the 2011 financial year before it has a has a clearer picture of the coming months.

“This is due to the extreme difficulty in producing rational forecasts at the current time due to uncertainties stemming from external factors that affect Mitsubishi Motors’ production, which include determining how long it will take earthquake-affected parts and component suppliers to return to a stable production basis.

“Mitsubishi Motors will publish its fiscal year 2011 forecasts as soon as it becomes possible to do so.”

Mitsubishi Australia announced earlier this year that it will overhaul its entire passenger vehicle line-up before the end of 2014, with plans to offer a petrol, diesel and hybrid/EV variant of each model in the medium term.




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