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Mitsubishi slashes annual profit forecast on slowing car sales

Mitsubishi reported a 78% plunge in operating profit during the third quarter

TOKYO — Mitsubishi Motors on Wednesday cut its full-year profit outlook by 67% as it expects sluggish demand in North America and China will continue, while a strong yen and research and development costs will also hurt the automaker's bottom line. Japan's sixth-largest automaker now expects operating profit to come in at 30.0 billion yen in the year to March, down from a previous forecast for 90.0 billion yen. The new outlook would be Mitsubishi's lowest profit since the year ended March 2017.

The downgrade comes after Mitsubishi, in which Nissan holds a controlling stake, reported a 78% plunge in operating profit during the July-September quarter to 6.3 billion yen, lower than a mean forecast for 16.26 billion yen from analysts polled by Refinitiv.

It joins a growing number of Japanese automakers which are bracing for lower profitability. Earlier on Wednesday, Subaru lowered its annual profit forecast due to a stronger yen and a cut in domestic output due to a major typhoon last month.

Mazda and Suzuki have also cut their respective outlooks within the past month due to slowing demand for their cars.

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