Mitsubishi Motors Corp. says it significantly cut its financial losses in the fiscal first quarter.

The Japanese auto maker reports a net loss of ¥15.1 billion ($131.9 million) on consolidated net sales of ¥483.9 billion ($4.2 billion) during the period ended June 30, up from like-2005’s net loss of ¥21.6 billion ($188.6 million) on revenues of ¥485.8 billion ($4.2 billion).

Increased sales in Japan, North America and Europe could not offset lower volumes in Asia/Pacific and other regions, Mitsubishi says.

Favorable currency fluctuations, reduced advertising outlays in the U.S. and a more profitable U.S. financial services operation helped stem the red ink, which totaled ¥6.8 billion ($59.4 million) on an operating basis, an improvement from year-ago’s ¥7.0 billion ($61.1 million).

Total vehicle sales for the period dropped to 292,000 units from 326,000 in like-2005, with Japan, North America and Europe all posting higher sales volumes vs. year-ago.

Deliveries in Japan totaled 52,000 vehicles, up from 48,000 last year, reflecting gains from the introduction of the new Outlander cross/utility vehicle and “i” minicar, along with special-edition models such as the Colt Ralliart Version-R and “i” Play Edition, Mitsubishi says.

North American deliveries increased 1,000 units over 2005 levels to 42,000, a gain credited to the restructured management at Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. and strong sales for the new Eclipse Spyder.

In Europe, healthy demand in Russia and Ukraine helped sales jump to 71,000 units, up from 64,000.

Asia (including other regions) experienced lower volumes, with deliveries falling from 2005’s 171,000 units to 127,000.

For fiscal year 2006, Mitsubishi is holding fast to forecasts made in April, predicting a ¥64 billion ($594.7 million) net loss and ¥14 billion ($130.1 million) operating loss. Revenue is seen growing 4.6% to ¥2.22 trillion ($20.4 billion) on sales of 1.37 million vehicles for 2005-2006.