July 31, 2020 / 6:28 AM / 9 days ago

Mazda braces for biggest annual operating loss as car sales slump

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - Mazda Motor Corp forecast on Friday a record annual operating loss as the Japanese automaker continues to be pummelled by falling vehicle sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan's No. 5 automaker said in a statement it anticipates a 40 billion yen ($383.5 million) loss for the year ending March.

Mazda posted an operating loss of 45.3 billion yen for the first quarter, its weakest in 11 years, due to a 31% drop in vehicle sales between April and June.

The company's annual loss is slightly better than a consensus mean estimate of a 46 billion yen loss drawn from 19 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

$1 = 104.3100 yen Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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