We may only be a third of the way through 2014, but for Japanese companies, March 31 marked the end of fiscal 2014, and it was a banner financial year for Mazda's global operations. The Japanese independent saw its highest global operating profits in its nearly 100-year history. Its global operating profits were up a huge 238 percent. Yes, a 238 percent increase over 2012 to 1.36 billion euros ($1.88 billion), eclipsing the brand's previous best year, 2008, by 12 percent. Net earnings, revenue and global sales volume also saw increases over the last fiscal year.

What's most impressive, though, is where Mazda saw improvement. The notoriously rough European market was rather kind to the Zoom-Zoom brand, where sales increased 25 percent to 163,000 units. That figure was bolstered by a 35-percent sales increase in Great Britain and a 20-percent jump in Germany, Europe's two largest markets. Japanese sales, meanwhile, were up a respectable 13 percent, to 244,000 units. In China, Mazda saw a 12 percent bump.

Notice we aren't talking about North American sales? That's because Mazda only saw a moderate, five-percent gain in the New World, with sales climbing to 391,000 units in the US, Canada and Mexico. This is particularly disappointing considering Mazda has launched three critically acclaimed products (CX-5, Mazda6 and most recently, Mazda3) for the North American market over the past two fiscal years. Still, it isn't a particular reason to be concerned, as IHS industry analyst Stephanie Brinley notes. "Five percent isn't terrible," Brinley told Autoblog, saying that Mazda should see a bump in 2014 as the Mazda3 picks up steam.

While Mazda may have hoped its five-percent gain in North America was a bit higher, it shows solid progress on company CEO Masamichi Kogai and his promise to raise US sales to 400,000 units.
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Mazda posts record profit

• Carmaker hikes full-year operating profit to €1.36 billion, its highest ever
• New-generation SKYACTIV models, structural reform efforts paying off


Hiroshima / Leverkusen, 25 April 2014. Mazda Motor Corporation posted the highest operating profit in its 94-year history for the fiscal year that ended on 31 March 2014. The Japanese carmaker earned a global operating profit of ¥182.1 billion* (€1.36 billion), a 238 per cent year-on-year increase and 12 per cent higher than the previous record (¥162 billion) set in 2008. On top of this, profits strengthened steadily over the course of year: The fourth-quarter return on sales reached 7.6 per cent compared to 6.8 per cent for the full year and 2.4 per cent for the prior year.

Mazda recorded gains in all other key categories, too, as ongoing structural reforms at the company gained traction. Global net earnings during fiscal 2013-14 quadrupled relative to the previous year to ¥135.7 billion (€1.01 billion) on revenue of ¥2.69 trillion (€20.1 billion), up 22 per cent. Worldwide sales volume, meanwhile, hit 1.33 million units, an 8 per cent gain.

In Europe**, unit sales were up 25 per cent to 163,000, also gaining steam in the second half. Among the major European markets, the UK outperformed with 35 per cent growth to 35,000 units, and Germany, Europe's largest market, saw a 20 per cent gain to 47,000. Revenue in the region rose to €3.5 billion, up 28 per cent in spite of a stagnant European passenger car market.

Elsewhere, Mazda boosted sales in Japan by 13 per cent to 244,000 units. Vehicle turnover in China was up 12 per cent to 196,000, while North American sales grew by 5 per cent to 391,000 units. Mazda remained strong down under, selling 104,000 units in Australia, where it is the number three brand with a 9.2 per cent market share.

Mazda's success can be attributed above all to its new-generation models. Featuring convention-defying SKYACTIV Technology and award-winning KODO – Soul of Motion designs, demand for the Mazda CX-5 and Mazda6 has not let up. The all-new Mazda3, which arrived in the second-half, has also enjoyed a positive reception wherever it has been launched. The strong performance also reflects the company's ongoing structural reforms to improve costs and establish global production. Mazda has thus achieved its profit goals well ahead of schedule, and even managed to beat its all-time record operating profit despite a far less favourable yen exchange rate than in 2008.

By continuing its reform efforts, expanding global capacity – Mazda is now ramping up production at its new plant in Mexico and expanding its capabilities in Malaysia, Russia and Thailand – and pursuing an aggressive model-launch schedule, the unconventional carmaker expects its top and bottom lines to increase further during the current fiscal year. The company forecasts a rise in full-year operating profits of ¥28 billion to ¥210 billion (€1.56 billion) and net income of ¥160 billion (€1.19 billion), up ¥24 billion. Global revenue, meanwhile, is pegged at ¥2.9 trillion (€21.5 billion), up almost 8 per cent year-on-year.


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  • 92 Comments
      Lachmund
      • 7 Months Ago
      well deserved..congrats Mazda
      BB79826
      • 8 Months Ago
      I have a 2015 Mazda6. I'm stunned that the early reviews all praised the handling and lamented the noise. In my experience, it's a quiet car (though they made some changes to the 2015 model) and the ride/handling is a perfect balance of sporty and compliant. I don't get why it's not a bigger hit...besides the fact that Mazda gives dealers VERY few base models.
        Greg
        • 8 Months Ago
        @BB79826
        If the exact same car was sold by Ford or Toyota, it would be a huge hit. Mazda is just too small.
      Mr Sled
      • 8 Months Ago
      Mazda is on it... String a few solid years of reliability with their newfound style and charisma, and I bet the sales will keep rolling.
        Jamie Elmhirst
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Mr Sled
        String a few solid years of reliability? Mazda is ranked fifth highest manufacturer overall in Consumer Reports long term reliability index. They also score well with JD Power & Associates as well. Ever since Mazda ejected the dead weight drag of the Ford Tribute and B-Series from its line-up, reliability has been without question.
          BB79826
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Jamie Elmhirst
          Dean - the last-gen 626 was a woefully uncompetitive midsize car, even in 1997. They did their best turning it into an SUV, but it was nothing special. The CX-5 is selling like hotcakes. Well, for a Mazda, at least.
          Dean Hammond
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Jamie Elmhirst
          ahhhh Jamie....dont get too carried away,,,, the Tribute was jointly developed with Ford Motor Company and based on the front-wheel drive Mazda 626 platform......
      UnderdogSupporter
      • 8 Months Ago
      Good for Mazda, I have always liked this company.
      malgu
      • 8 Months Ago
      Make a good car and buyers will come
      cpmanx
      • 8 Months Ago
      Wow: Look at the Reuters headline! Same news, completely different description. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/25/honda-motor-results-idUSL3N0NH2FR20140425
      libertedelacroix
      • 7 Months Ago
      I have just put 15,000 miles on my Mazda 6 Touring w/ Tech package. My take: Interior: Fantastic and ergonomic design that has a low learning curve. Not nearly as gimmicky as others (Hyundai and Ford come to mind). However, materials are still below the Honda accord. The look and design were in my opinion the best in class, but the materials objectively are not. This is the only weak spot for the car (except road noise- more on that later). Sound system is also decent, but nothing overly special. Navigation is completely useless, but the Pandora integration is its saving grace. The interior is HUGE though, almost full size. I am 6ft 200 lbs and I sit with the seat all the way back, and rear passengers still have plenty of left room. Trunk is also quite large- fit my families 2 large, 2 carry on in my trunk when dropping them off at the airport. GRADE: 7/10 Ride: Ultimately, this is a fantastic car for those who need fuel economy and comfort for long commutes, but also can take a curvy road or sharp on ramp with excitement. The steering is communicative and could benefit from a heavier feel, but the input/feedback is done very well. It has an excellent mix comfort/sportiness in the suspension geometry: it can swallow rather large bumps and some potholes with ease, but it is quite tight. However, the road noise is brutal- it is quite loud on the freeway, and if it is windy (such as driving through the GrapVine in CA), you can barely hold a conversation. It just depends on your priorities- lighter weight and better performance, or more refinement and more heft. GRADE: 8/10 Handling: This is where the car really shines. I actually took it to the canyons by my house and it was clear that the tires were the main setback for the handling of this car. Literally just a swaybar/tires away from being not just the best handling mid size family sedan, but an overall excellent handling car in general. The fact that is is so much lighter than me quatrro Audi A4 (3300 lbs vs 4000 lbs) really is incredibly noticeable. The best way to describe it is NIMBLE, especially considering its size. GRADE: 9/10 Powertrain: Engine is peppy, peak torque comes lower than most other engines in its class at around 3200 rpm, and peak horsepower comes on earlier as well. Overall, this and the accord were the ONLY cars I test drove that didn't feel like they had "base" or anemic motors, whereas with other makes you can tell minimal effort was put in their inline 4 motors to maximize profits on high-volume base models (also, more $$$ spent on marketable turbo motors). It just has enough power to get out of its own way, but it for sure won't be winning any races. But the peppiness and eagerness to rev make it motor that has grown on me. The transmission is also decent considering CVTS are the industry standard. I like it. GRADE: 8/10 Overall, a fantastic and sexy car I would recommend to anyone- enthusiast or otherwise!
      A Middle American
      • 8 Months Ago
      The reason their profit is up more than 200% isn't magical management prowess and consumers flocking to their cars (more than other makes), it's because the Japanese government devalued the Yen by 20% 9-months ago. Lots of cars sold in the US, most of the parts made in Japan.
        hokkaido76
        • 7 Months Ago
        @A Middle American
        Oh look, another ignorant "buy 'merican!!!" shill who comes into every Japanese car-related article to rant and whine.............. P.S.: The US devalues its currency on a CONSISTENT basis as well (ever heard of the term "quantitative easing"), but I guess that doesn't count because in the minds of people like yourself.
        cpmanx
        • 7 Months Ago
        @A Middle American
        I don't see any "buy American" message here--just a dose of reality that Mazda's financial situation, while improving dramatically, is not as strong as the earnings numbers would imply. Quoting from the Reuters story: "Mazda said foreign exchange moves boosted its operating profit by 112.7 billion yen in the year ended March, but would cut earnings by a projected 3 billion yen this year." Personally I think Mazda makes great cars and I'm happy to see the company back in the black, but there is no question that the falling yen was a major factor behind the company's jump in profitability in 2013/2014.
          Famsert
          • 7 Months Ago
          @cpmanx
          It's a very misleading dose of reality. While the yen is now worth less USD than in 2012, it's still worth more USD than 2000-2008. The only reason the Japanese yen has been devalued is because the US government severely devalued their only dollar a few years ago through quantitative easing several times. Mazda is having its highest profits in 94 years. The yen is not at its lowest point in the past 94 years. Not even close.
          • 7 Months Ago
          @cpmanx
          [blocked]
        hokkaido76
        • 7 Months Ago
        @A Middle American
        Oh look, another ignorant "buy 'merican!!!" shill who comes into every Japanese car-related article to rant and whine.............. P.S.: The US devalues its currency on a CONSISTENT basis as well (ever heard of the term "quantitative easing"), but I guess that doesn't count because in the minds of people like yourself.
      superlightv12
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm really happy to hear this. I want Mazda to survive and not be taken over by one the larger automakers. This story has a pic of a Mazda 3 exactly like mine and I love it. Congratulations Mazda!
      CarCrazy24
      • 7 Months Ago
      I wish Mazda well, they are an outstanding model for a modern automobile company. They care about the enthusiasts, yet make a car that is appealing even to the laymen simply with their great value and good looks. Their entire line-up looks stunning, and all of them are best in class in terms of handling and driver enjoyment. To be an independent company and fight for sales in the lower price ranges with the likes of Ford/GM/Toyota is impressive, and I wish them the best in their continued success.
        Trent
        • 7 Months Ago
        @CarCrazy24
        Could not have said it better. Well done Mazda, well done.
      yo
      • 7 Months Ago
      they really need to fix that interior...look like its from 1991
      Kuro Houou
      • 8 Months Ago
      Good job Mazda, make a great looking car with a great interior that drives very well at a great price and sales will go up, that simple. Keep up the great work!! Love my 14 Mazda 3 :)
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