Honda motors to first-half records on sales in North America, Europe

Thanks to brisk car sales in North America and Europe, Honda Motor Co. reported Monday record sales and profits on a consolidated basis for the first half.

Honda posted a record consolidated net profit of 194.78 billion yen in the April-September period, up 12.1 percent from the same period last year, and a record consolidated operating profit of 323.87 billion yen, up 2.7 percent.

Its consolidated pretax profit rose 1.4 percent from the same period in 2001 to 273.7 billion yen.

Koichi Amemiya, Honda’s executive vice president, said depreciation of the yen and reduced operational costs at overseas units also helped boost group profits.

Honda’s group sales jumped 9.9 percent to 3.85 trillion yen.

In terms of volume, its worldwide car sales rose 9.2 percent to 1.41 million units.

Sales volume in North America rose 11.8 percent to 732,000 units, while that in Europe jumped 23.8 percent to 104,000 units.

Sales volume in Japan inched up 1.2 percent to 426,000 units.

On a parent-only basis, Honda posted first-half sales of 1.63 trillion yen, up 4.7 percent from the same period last year, primarily due to surging car exports, Honda officials said.

Its pretax profit rose 0.6 percent to 120.76 billion yen, while its net profit jumped 39.1 percent to 91.71 billion yen. Its operating profit, however, fell 20.3 percent to 66.16 billion yen, due to increased operational costs.

For the second half of 2002, Amemiya said Honda’s business environment is becoming tougher with the Japan and U.S. markets expected to be sluggish.

For the full year, Honda expects to generate group sales of 7.9 trillion yen, a consolidated pretax profit of 580 billion yen and a consolidated net profit of 410 billion yen.

Hino Motors soars

Hino Motors Ltd. said Monday its midterm group net profit soared 30-fold in the April-September half of fiscal 2002, due chiefly to an export surge, and that the company will resume midterm dividend payments after a four-year gap.

In the six-month period to Sept. 30, Hino, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp. and the biggest truck maker in Japan, booked 3.74 billion yen group net profit, compared with 125 million yen in the first half of the previous fiscal year.

Interim group pretax profit more than doubled to 3.74 billion yen on a 6.1 percent sales advance to 390.14 billion yen. Hino is owned 50.3 percent by Toyota.

Overseas truck sales — apart from pickup trucks Hino makes for sale under the Toyota name — rose 28.3 percent to 12,632 vehicles, due chiefly to strong exports to Southeast Asia.

Hino’s output of small trucks and other vehicles for sale under the Toyota brand rose 26.9 percent to 89,411 vehicles, due chiefly to good sales of the Hilux pickup trucks, notably in the Middle East, it said.

Hino said it will pay a midterm dividend of 2 yen per share. The company has not made a fist-half dividend payment for the past four years.

The truck maker paid a full-year dividend of 3 yen per share in fiscal 2001.

Hino forecast its consolidated net profit for the year to March 31, 2003 will amount to 7 billion yen, down from 8.37 billion yen in the previous fiscal year, on projected sales of 840 billion yen, up from 758.64 billion yen.

Group pretax profit is projected at 10 billion yen, up from 4.62 billion yen.