Mitsubishi Motors' annual profit tumbles, refrains from issuing forecast

19 May 2020 - 12:55 By Reuters
Mitsubishi Motors is one of many global car makers struggling to navigate around the Covid-19 pandemic, which has pummeled vehicle sales.
Mitsubishi Motors is one of many global car makers struggling to navigate around the Covid-19 pandemic, which has pummeled vehicle sales.
Image: Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images

Mitsubishi Motors Corp on Tuesday posted  an 89% drop in annual operating profit for its weakest performance in three years and skipped the year-end dividend as the coronavirus pandemic added to the Japanese car maker's profitability woes.

Profit came in at 12.8 billion yen (roughly R2,189,232,045) for the year ended in March, down sharply from 111.8 billion yen (roughly R18,931,977,220) a year ago. Still, it exceeded a consensus estimate of 9.4 billion yen (roughly R1,591,776,260) profit drawn from 15 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Mitsubishi, one of Japan's smaller car makers, declined to give an earnings forecast for the current business year while it waits to get a better view of the longer term impact of the coronavirus on its operations and sales.

It did not issue a year-end dividend, compared with 10 yen (roughly R1,71) per share a year ago.

Global car makers are struggling to navigate around the pandemic, which has pummeled car sales due to severe restrictions on people's movements in many countries, while plant workers had been unable to report for work.

Though Mitsubishi and its rivals have begun to restart vehicle factories, anemic demand, supply chain disruption and social distancing measures at factories are expected to limit output in the coming months.

The automaker, a junior member of the automaking partnership between Nissan Motor Co and France's Renault SA , sold 1.13 million vehicles globally in the year ended March, down 9% from the previous year.

The pandemic exacerbated Mitsubishi's struggles in a year in which the automaker was already contending with falling sales in China and southeast Asia, a key market, which had knocked profitability since April.

The alliance is expected to announce a revamped strategy later this month under which it will pledge to increase cooperation to drastically improve their joint operations to remain competitive in the fast-changing global auto industry.


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