Mitsubishi Motors says April-Dec profit jumps 27%

Mitsubishi Motors said Tuesday its net profit for the nine months to December jumped 27.3 percent from a year earlier to 17.3 billion yen ($187 million), largely thanks to cost-cutting efforts.

The Japanese automaker said sales edged down 0.8 percent to 1.28 trillion yen, while operating profit rose 6.2 percent to 40.9 billion yen.

Mitsubishi said the profit gain was mainly due to brisk sales in Southeast Asia as well as lower fixed expenses, although gains were pared by losses tied to the sale of its Netherlands-based plant, NedCar.

Last year, the Japanese automaker said it was selling its sole European plant, blaming a difficult operating environment in the debt-hit continent.

For the fiscal year to March 2013, Mitsubishi left its net profit forecast unchanged at 13 billion yen, but cut its sales forecast to 1.81 trillion yen from a previous target of 1.83 trillion yen.