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Honda Motor Co. reported record sales and record profits on a consolidated basis for the October-December period, thanks to thriving car sales in overseas markets, company officials said Friday.

Its consolidated net profit surged 40 percent from the same period in 2001 to 115.17 billion yen. Its consolidated pretax profit jumped 31.7 percent to 158.71 billion yen, and its consolidated operating profit rose 2.7 percent to 158.98 billion yen.

Group sales came to 1.99 trillion yen, up 13.3 percent from the same period in 2001.

In terms of volume, Honda sold 702,000 cars worldwide, up 7.7 percent from the same period in 2001. Although its domestic sales dropped 3.8 percent to 202,000 units, overseas sales leaped 13.1 percent to 500,000 units, including 388,000 units sold in North America, up 11.2 percent from the previous year.

Its motorcycle sales rose 41.6 percent to 2.08 million worldwide, including 94,000 sold in Japan, up 8 percent.

As a result of these figures, Honda has revised upward its consolidated earnings projections for the business year to March. For fiscal 2002, the carmaker now predicts group sales of 8 trillion yen, up from the 7.9 trillion yen it forecasted in October.

Its consolidated net profit is now expected to reach 430 billion yen, up 20 billion yen from the earlier forecast, and its consolidated pretax profit is seen coming to 610 billion yen, up 30 billion yen. Its consolidated operating profit is now estimated to be 660 billion yen, up 40 billion yen.

Mazda to consolidate

Mazda Motor Corp. said Friday it will consolidate six sales subsidiaries in the Tokyo metropolitan area into one unit and five subsidiaries in Osaka into another unit as part of a reorganization plan announced in October.

Mazda, 33.3 percent owned by Ford Motor Co. of the United States, said the consolidation, scheduled to be completed in April, is designed to help strengthen the business and capital of its sales units. The plan will have no effect on earnings for the fiscal year to March 31, it said.

Of the six units in the Tokyo area, Kanto Mazda Co. will be the surviving entity, absorbing three others and taking over the operations of two more.

Mazda Enfini Yokohama Co. will be the first to be absorbed, on Feb. 1.

Kansai Mazda Co. will be the surviving entity in the Osaka area.

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