Mitsubishi Motors Corp is expected to report a group operating loss of around 20 billion yen for the April-June quarter, marking a second straight quarterly loss, the Nikkei business daily said.

The newspaper said the number represents a sharp deterioration from the year-earlier 9.8 billion yen profit, and its sales likely fell by nearly half to about 300 billion yen from a year earlier.

In addition to weak sales in the U.S., exports to Russia, which had made a major contribution to earnings until recently, have effectively dried up, the Nikkei said.

Sales in Japan and emerging countries came in better than the automaker had expected.

Tax breaks on environment-friendly vehicles boosted demand for the company's small cars at home, while sales of the Pajero grew in Australia and Asia, the paper said.

Mitsubishi Motors expects most of 35 billion yen operating loss projected for the April-September half to come in the April-June quarter, the Nikkei said.

The company is likely to maintain its full-year projections, which call for a 24 percent drop in sales to 1.5 trillion yen and a 600 percent-plus jump in operating profit to 30 billion yen, the paper said. (Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)