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Sales rise boosts operating profit at Honda by 38%

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

Honda Motor Co. said Friday it logged a group operating profit of ¥750.2 billion, up 37.7 percent, for the business year ended March on higher sales of four-wheel vehicles and motorcycles and the yen’s fall.

Consolidated net profit jumped 56.4 percent to ¥574.1 billion on sales of ¥11.84 trillion, up 19.9 percent, in 2013.

“We have achieved growth in operating profit mainly thanks to the increased sales of four-wheel cars in Japan and North America, two-wheel vehicles in Asia, cost-cutting steps and weaker yen,” Honda Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura said in Tokyo.

Sales of motorcycles rose 9.9 percent to 17.02 million units, boosted by strong responses to new models in India and Indonesia, while car sales rose to 4.32 million units, up 7.7 percent, driven by growth in China, Japan and North America, thanks to redesigns and new cars, Iwamura said.

For this year, Honda expects a consolidated operating profit of ¥760 billion, up 1.3 percent, and a group net profit of ¥595 billion, up 3.6 percent.

The firm expects a mild impact from the consumption tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent on April 1, Iwamura said.

He also expressed hope that the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement will get done soon and expand Honda’s business.