• Kyodo

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Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday its group net profit fell 25.3 percent to ¥455.75 billion ($4.24 billion) in the business year ended in March as the coronavirus pandemic dented global demand and forced a partial halt in production.

The second-largest automaker in Japan by volume withheld its earnings forecast for this year, citing uncertainties caused by the global COVID-19 crisis.

Its operating profit dropped 12.8 percent to ¥633.64 billion on sales of ¥14.93 trillion, down 6 percent.

In the three months through March, Honda posted a group net loss of ¥29.54 billion. It blamed falling demand for its products on the pandemic.

For the 2019 business year, the automaker sold 4.79 million four-wheel vehicles worldwide, down 10 percent from the previous year. It said sales slowed in Japan due partly to the consumption tax hike in October, while the impact of the coronavirus outbreak hit demand in China and the United States.

Honda’s global motorcycle sales decreased 4.4 percent to 19.34 million units, attributed to an economic slowdown in India, while posting record sales in Vietnam and the Philippines.

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