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Honda Motor Co. announced Tuesday that it suffered a 19.6 percent decline in pretax profit on a group basis during the April-September period to 226.4 billion yen.

The nation’s third-largest automaker said its group sales during the first half of fiscal 1999 slipped 3.2 percent to 3.03 trillion yen — the first decline in four years. Its operating profit fell 22.8 percent to 229.5 billion yen, while net profit declined 13.8 percent to 136.4 billion yen.

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