Mazda Motor Corp., the Japanese affiliate of Ford Motor Co., announced on Friday that its July-September period net profit soared 29 percent to 26.6 billion yen due to strong sales overseas.

The Japanese automotive manufacturer posted group sales of 841.9 billion yen, up 7.0 percent from the same quarter last year.

Small cars especially sold well in the North America and overseas. Mazda's three subcompact cars showed strong popularity in Canada, Australia and Israel. Also the weak yen in the period contributed its profits.

For the year ending in March, the manufacturer estimates a group net profit of 85 billion yen and group sales of 3.320 trillion yen. Hisaichi Imaki, the chairman and president, said We would like to aim solid growth from now as well. 

Mazda originally began as the Tokyo Cork Kogyo Co. in 1920, and it adopted the new name Mazda in 1984. Then, the Ford Motor Company owned a 15 percent stake of Mazda, increasing its stake to a 33.4 percent controlling interest on 31 March 1999. Ford has based many of its models on Mazda, such as the Probe, late model Escort and Mercury Tracer.

Mazda's reports are based on Japanese accounting standards.