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Honda's profit doubles

Friday, May 02, 2014    

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TOKYO, Japan (AP) — Honda said Friday that its profit for the fiscal fourth quarter zoomed to more than double the previous year's as the benefits of a weak yen added to strong sales, but momentum was forecast to ebb as the currency perk wears off.

January-March net profit totaled 170.5 billion yen (US$1.67 billion), up from 75.7 billion yen the same period the previous year, the automaker said. Quarterly sales surged 13 per cent to 3.1 trillion yen (US$30 billion).

Honda Motor Co sold nearly 1.2 million vehicles worldwide during the quarter, helped by purchases by Japanese seeking to beat a sales-tax rise on April 1, up from slightly more than 1 million the same period a year earlier.

The Tokyo-based maker of the Odyssey minivan and Accord sedan expects to sell 4.83 million vehicles globally for the fiscal year ending March 2015. It sold 4.3 million vehicles for the fiscal year ended March 2014.

Honda also makes the Asimo walking, talking human-shaped robot that impressed President Barack Obama during his visit to Tokyo this week.

Honda is forecasting a four per cent rise in annual profit to 595 billion yen (US$5.8 billion).

For the fiscal year just ended, Honda racked up a 574 billion yen (US$5.6 billion) profit, up dramatically from 367 billion yen recorded a year earlier, but slightly below the company's more ambitious target given in January for a 580 billion yen (US$5.7 billion) profit.

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