Honda recovers from disasters: $1.7B quarterly profit

More vehicles sold in key regions except Europe.

July 31, 2012   by ASSOCIATED PRESS

TOKYO: Honda’s quarterly profit quadrupled to 131.7 billion yen (US$1.7 billion) as the Japanese automaker bounced back from last year’s natural disasters with more vehicles sold across all key regions except for Europe.

Tokyo-based Honda Motor Co., which makes the Fit subcompact, Odyssey minivan and Asimo walking robot, said its April-June quarter sales surged 42% to $31.2 billion.

Vehicle sales doubled in the key markets of Japan and North America but were weak in Europe where austerity measures to tackle the region’s debt crisis have crimped demand. Honda reported global sales of 849,000 vehicles for the quarter, up from 458,000 a year earlier.

The earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan and the flooding in Thailand last year disrupted parts supplies and production for all Japanese automakers. Honda’s profit for the April-June period last year was 31.7 billion yen.

But the Japanese automakers are making a comeback. Toyota Motor Corp. regained its crown as the world’s biggest selling automaker from General Motors Co. in the first half of the year.

Honda stuck to its forecast of $6 billion profit for the fiscal year through March 2013. That would be more than double what it earned last fiscal year. It expects to sell 4.3 million vehicles for the fiscal year, up by more than a million vehicles from 3.1 million vehicles for last year.

Mazda Motor Corp. said its losses for the April-June quarter shrank to $83.3 million from the $326 million of red ink it reported a year earlier.

Nissan reported a $900 million profit, down 15%, hammered by the damage from the strong yen, which erodes the value of its overseas earnings.

But Nissan’s worldwide sales rose 2.6% and it remained upbeat, raising its earnings forecast for this fiscal year to a 400 billion yen $5 billion profit from $3.6 billion.

Honda got a perk from its motorcycle division, selling nearly 2.4 million motorcycles in the quarter, up 21% from 1.9 million motorcycles a year earlier.

Overall sales revenue in Japan jumped 61% and 66% in North American. Sales revenue was up 37% in Asia excluding Japan. The only region where Honda’s revenue fell was in Europe, by 2%.

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