Troubled Mitsubishi Fuso stays fiscally profitable

Scandal-ridden Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp has tallied skyrocketing profits for its latest fiscal year, though the Japanese manufacturer said it could not supply an earnings outlook due to problems in assessing damage from recalls. The firm, which is 65 percent owned by DaimlerChrysler AG of Germany, said it anticipates a dramatic drop in demand in Japan, however.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, Mitsubishi Fuso saw a group net profit of 17.5 billion yen (US $161 million) — more than 11 times its profit of 1.5 billion yen in the prior fiscal year. Sales surged 23% to 894.0 billion yen (US $8 billion) from 724.0 billion yen previously.

Earlier in 2004, Mitsubishi Fuso announced extensive recalls for defective wheels, clutch systems, and other serious defects. Ex-officials with the company and Mitsubishi Motors have been arrested on suspicion of concealing defects in two fatal 2002 accidents.

DaimlerChrysler has said it may seek compensation from Mitsubishi Motors for damages from the recalls.

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