Honda net up sixfold at $1.49 billion

Honda net up sixfold at $1.49 billion

Tokyo: Japanese auto maker Honda Motor Co. Ltd’s profit for October-December 2009 soared sixfold on cost cuts and strong sales of green vehicles, boosting its full year forecast.

The Tokyo-based firm said on Wednesday it booked a net profit of $1.49 billion (around Rs6,900 crore) for the third quarter of the fiscal year. This is the first time its third quarter profit had increased in two years, underlining a recovery in world auto sales. The results were better than the $818 million profit forecast by analysts.

The auto maker, known for the Insight hybrid, Accord sedan and Odyssey minivan, reported an 11.5% drop in sales for the quarter at $24.8 billion, partly because of a strong yen.

Honda has weathered the auto slump better than some of its bigger rivals because of its strength in emerging markets and its solid motorcycle division.

Honda managed to stay in the black for the quarter ended 31 December 2008, when other Japanese auto makers, such as Toyota Motor Corp., sank into losses.

On Wednesday, it stuck to its full-year global sales projection for 3.4 million vehicles, down 3.3% from 3.5 million for the fiscal year ended March 2009. Honda’s smaller fuel-efficient models are popular in Japan.