Tokyo: Suzuki Motor Corp posted on Thursday a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter operating profit and forecast only a slight growth this year, citing the yen’s strength and a doubling in spending as it steps up investments in India and other growth markets.
For the quarter ended on 31 March, Japan’s fourth-biggest automaker reported an operating profit of ¥26.85 billion ($338 million), weaker than the average estimate of ¥31.2 billion from four analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters over the past three months.
On a year-on-year basis, the quarterly profit jumped 85 percent as the year-ago period was impacted by Japan’s devastating earthquake. Net profit more than quadrupled to ¥11.28 billion from ¥2.57 billion a year earlier and three-month revenue rose 5%.
For the year to next March, the maker of the Swift and other compact cars expects operating profit to remain roughly flat at ¥120 billion, while consensus forecasts from the last three months see it rising to ¥140.21 billion.
Suzuki, whose guidance is typically conservative, is assuming a dollar rate of ¥75 for the business year, compared with around ¥79 on Thursday and the ¥80 assumed by most other Japanese automakers.
Suzuki is expected to leave behind a difficult year of disasters in Japan and labour strife in India, its single-biggest market, with sales in India having bottomed out and headed for a rebound.
Last month, its local subsidiary, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd , posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit and forecast a sales growth of 10 to 12% in the current business year.
Suzuki forecast a 9.8% rise in global sales this fiscal year to 2.811 million vehicles, led by a 12% jump in Asia.