Tokyo (AFP) – Japan’s Honda Motor said Tuesday it was raising annual forecasts after first-half profits rose over 19 percent on brisk sales of motorcycles in Asia.
Japan’s third largest automaker now expects net profit to reach 675 billion yen ($6 billion) for the fiscal year ending March, down from last year but a still an increase from its forecast last quarter.
It also revised up annual sales to to 15.8 trillion yen.
The company said it was seeing strong growth in the sales of motorbikes in Indonesia, Vietnam and other Asian countries, and touted cost-cutting efforts.
It said net profit in the April-September period was up 19.3 percent to 455.1 billion yen while operating profit jumped 21.7 percent to 513.9 billion yen.
Sales rose 5.0 percent to 7.87 trillion yen.
“Honda enjoyed strong sales of motorcycles… This offset the negative impact of floods in Mexico on its production,” Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW, a Tokyo-based research and consulting firm, told AFP ahead of the results.
Honda was forced to temporarily halt operations at its largest auto factory in Mexico due to floods in June, and said at the time that it would lose 50 billion yen as a result.
Japanese automakers remain on edge over talk of US tariffs, though immediate action by Washington has been put off for now.
“Japanese carmakers are also bracing for the impact of US trade disputes with other major economies,” Takada said.