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Subaru's net income dives 22% in FY'18 as airbag charge hits

Subaru Corp.'s net income attributable to owners of its parent company shrank by 22.0% year over year in the 12 months ended March 31, partly as an airbag-related charge hit earnings.

Consolidated net income for fiscal 2018 totaled ¥220.35 billion, down from ¥282.35 billion in the prior year. Subaru recorded an ¥81.26 billion loss related to airbags during the year due to measures the company had to take related to its Takata airbag inflators not containing desiccant. The company expects to book quality-assurance expenses in the current fiscal year and beyond related to airbags.

Basic net income per share fell to ¥287.40 in fiscal year 2018 from ¥365.77 in the previous year. The S&P Capital IQ consensus mean estimate was ¥277.12.

The automaker's net sales rose 2.4% during the year to ¥3.405 trillion from ¥3.326 trillion a year ago. Of the total, the automobile division contributed ¥3.235 trillion while the aerospace division booked sales of ¥142.16 billion in fiscal year 2018.

Operating income fell 7.6% to ¥379.45 billion in fiscal 2018, from ¥410.81 billion in the previous fiscal year, on the back of higher selling expenses associated with rising interest rates in U.S., the effect of the raw materials market, and higher research and development costs. This was partly offset by a positive effect from the foreign exchange rate.

Subaru maintained its annual dividend at ¥144.0 per share for fiscal year 2018.

For the first half of fiscal year 2019, the company targets operating income of ¥110.0 billion and net sales of ¥1.463 trillion. Net income attributable to the parent company is expected to reach ¥79.10 billion, and basic net earnings per share are expected to hit ¥103.17 in the half.

Subaru projects net income attributable totaling ¥220.0 billion for the full fiscal year 2019, net sales of ¥3.250 trillion and basic EPS of ¥286.94, on a consolidated basis.

As of May 11, US$1 was equivalent to ¥109.40.