• The Associated Press

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Honda Motor Co. said Wednesday its profit jumped 29.6 percent in the April-June quarter as the nation’s No. 3 automaker expanded overseas production to keep up with booming demand.

Group net profit at Honda Motor Co. grew to 143.4 billion yen in the fiscal first quarter, up from 110.6 billion yen for the same period the previous year, it said.

Quarterly sales climbed 14.8 percent to 2.6 trillion yen from 2.26 trillion yen a year earlier.

Tokyo-based Honda, which is getting a robust lift from a global rise in its vehicles’ popularity, reported its sixth straight all-time record for first-quarter profit and sales during the latest period.

Honda said it sold 896,000 vehicles worldwide in the April-June quarter, largely on sales growth in North America and Asia, racking up its fifth consecutive increase in sales for the quarter.

Earlier this week, Honda said its worldwide production rose 7.4 percent to 327,039 vehicles in June, the 11th straight month of climbing year-on-year output.

Honda, which produces the Accord compact, Civic sedan, Odyssey minivan on top of motorcycles, power products and robots, is now entering the small jet business.

Overnight in Wisconsin, Honda said it will start accepting orders this fall for a small jet it revealed last year under a business alliance with Piper Aircraft, based in Vero Beach, Fla.

Honda said early Wednesday that it will start mass production of the business jet in the U.S. after gaining approval of U.S. authorities in the next three to four years.

It hopes to sell its first jet to a customer in 2010.

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