I would like to extend my gratitude to shareholders and other investors, and all of the Mazda Group's stakeholders including customers, suppliers, and local communities, for your continued support and understanding.
In FY March 2018, under its Structural Reform Stage 2, a medium-term business plan, we have worked to offer appealing products that provide both driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance, to achieve qualitative growth in all areas of the business and to further enhance brand value. Global sales volume was up 4.6% from the prior year and set a new record at 1,631 thousand units. Net sales were ¥3.474 trillion, up ¥259.7 billion from the prior year, owing to increasing sales and a devaluation of the yen. Operating income was ¥146.4 billion, up ¥20.7 billion, from the prior year. Net income was ¥112.1 billion, up ¥18.3 billion from the prior year.
In an effort to strengthen sales and improve earnings, in FY March 2019 we will introduce new and updated models and launch the new CX-8 in overseas markets including Australia and China. In terms of production, we will make the system for the production of crossovers more flexible by introducing a night shift at Hofu Plant No. 2.
We revised the full year forecast for FY March 2019 due to the wholesale volume decrease from the impact of heavy rains in July 2018 and others, as well as revisions to the exchange rate assumptions and increased quality-related costs. Despite increasing difficulties in the external environment, and increasing investments in U.S. sales network reforms and other investments for future growth, we will work on the improvement of customer experience we provide in our sales and service frontline and cost improvement efforts. At the same time, we steadily promote key initiatives in all areas including introduction of new-generation products and technologies to recover and then strengthen our earning power for a turnaround.
We announced the “Direction of Future Frameworks” in April 2018. We regard the next three years as a time to secure a firm foothold and will work to enhance product competitiveness through the development and introduction of new-generation products and new technologies and accelerate the reform of sales network, particularly in the U.S. In addition, we will promote the alliances with Toyota Motor Corporation and other companies, and aim to achieve stronger growth from FY March 2022 with the start-up of the new factory in the U.S.
By introducing products with outstanding environmental and safety performance, we aim to resolve social issues, such as the conservation of the global environment and the realization of a safe and secure society, while enhancing our corporate value over the medium to long term.
We will also continue to engage in timely and appropriate information disclosure and constructive dialogue with shareholders, while at the same time emphasizing corporate governance as an important management issue for continuous growth and the enhancement of corporate value over the medium-to-long term.
I ask for the continued support of our shareholders and investors going forward.
Mazda Motor Corporation
President and CEO