Japan’s Mazda Motor on Thursday reported a third-quarter loss of almost $1 billion, as the strength of the yen dented its export-dependent production.
Mazda, Japan’s fifth-largest car maker by volume, incurred a net loss of 72.97 billion yen ($958 million) in the three months to December, much larger than the 2.67 billion yen loss reported a year earlier.
At the operating level the company, based in Hiroshima in western Japan, fell into a loss of 32.64 billion yen in the quarter, from a profit of 1.05 billion yen in the corresponding period.
Sales fell from 560.24 billion yen to 459.14 billion yen.
For the nine months to December, the carmaker posted a net loss of 112.84 billion yen, falling into the red from a net profit of 2.85 billion yen a year earlier, as it suffered a 17.4 percent decline in sales to 1.42 trillion yen.
The yen is at near-record highs against the dollar and the company, which exports about 80 percent of the vehicles it builds in Japan, said the currency’s strength had “created a drag” for the whole economy.
Mazda lowered its forecast for the full year to March to a net loss of 100 billion yen from a previous prediction of a 19 billion yen deficit.
The automaker also revised down its unit sales forecast by 14 percent in Europe and 1.8 percent in total, citing European financial instability and smaller production volumes due to the floods in Thailand.