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Mazda expects operating income to halve from a year ago

Figure lowered over 20 billion yen after heavy rains forced plants to halt operations

Damaged transportation links near Mazda's main plant in Hiroshima Prefecture forced the company to suspend operations there for parts of the summer.

TOKYO -- After being hit by heavy rains that devastated western Japan in July, Mazda Motor now expects consolidated operating income to halve from a year ago to about 75 billion yen ($670 million) in the year ending March 2019.

The current estimate was revised down 30 billion yen from the previous figure.

In addition to the rain, which slowed production, the decreased profitability of exports amid falling resource currencies -- including the Australian dollar and Russian ruble -- impacted income.

The rain damaged railways and roads, making it impossible for many workers to go to work. As a result, the main plant in the city of Hiroshima, where the company is headquartered, and another in Yamaguchi Prefecture, were forced to suspend operations, which did not fully resume until September.

The plants fell short of output targets, with about 44,000 vehicles and large numbers of components for overseas plants failing to be produced. This contributed to a negative impact of over 20 billion yen on operating income.

Consolidated net income estimate for the year ending March 2019 was revised down about 30 billion yen to 50 billion yen, a 55% fall from a year ago.

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