Honda Motor Co. said Wednesday it expects its fiscal 2020 net profit to fall 63.8 percent from a year earlier to ¥165 billion ($1.56 billion) due to weak demand for its cars amid the global novel coronavirus pandemic.

While the nation’s second-largest automaker by volume said it booked a net loss of ¥80.87 billion in the first quarter to June, it sees a gradual recovery in global auto and motorcycle demand in the remainder of the current business year through March.

The automaker forecasts its operating profit in the year to drop 68.4 percent to ¥200 billion, on estimated sales of ¥12.8 trillion, down 14.3 percent.

“Sales in China are expected to grow from a year earlier thanks to economic stimulus packages by the government, but those in Japan and the United States will fall due to the prolonged pandemic,” said Honda Executive Vice President Seiji Kuraishi in an online news conference.

He added that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is expected to shave some ¥500 billion its operating profit in this business year.

In the year to March, Honda expects its global auto sales to drop 6.1 percent to 4.5 million units, while those of motorcycles will fall 23.5 percent to 14.8 million units.

In the April to June period, Honda posted an operating loss of ¥113.69 billion on sales of ¥2.12 trillion, down 46.9 percent, hit by factory closures and depressed demand.

Honda’s global auto sales in the three months fell 40.0 percent to 792,000 units, while those of motorcycles plunged 62.3 percent to 1.86 million units.

Honda now plans an annual dividend of ¥44 per share in the year to March, down from ¥112 the previous year.

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