TOKYO — Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. reported a 21 per cent jump in its profit in the last quarter on cost cuts and healthy motorcycle sales.

Tokyo-based Honda, which makes the Fit subcompact, Odyssey minivan and Asimo robot, said Tuesday that its July-September profit of 210.7 billion yen ($1.9 billion), up from 174 billion yen. Quarterly sales edged up nearly 2 per cent from a year earlier to 3.84 trillion yen ($34 billion).

Costs from recalls and litigation related to defective air-bag inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp. fell, helping lift its bottom line, Hondasaid.

Future losses remain uncertain since Honda was among Takata’s biggest customers.

Sales of Honda’s N-Box series in Japan were strong during the quarter, while truck and Civic sedan sales were solid in the U.S.

Motorcycle sales were strong in India, Vietnam and Indonesia, and production was expanded at a plant in India.

The HondaJet also did well, being the most delivered aircraft in its class for the first half of this year, it said.

Consolidated auto sales dipped nearly 4 per cent for the quarter to 1.2 million vehicles.

The manufacturer is forecasting a fall in profit for the fiscal year through March by 36 per cent from the previous fiscal year to 675 billion yen ($6.0 billion).

Honda’s annual profit soared nearly 72 per cent to 1.06 trillion yen ($9.7 billion) in the previous fiscal year, helped by a reduction of corporate tax rates in the U.S.

The latest profit forecast is still more upbeat than the projection given before by 60 billion yen ($532 million).

Source: Driving

October 30, 2018