Honda Q4 jumps 142pc, sees rosy year after disasters
UPDATED @ 02:43:48 PM 27-04-2012
TOKYO, April 27 — Honda Motor Co posted a more than doubling in quarterly operating profit today, as production recovered from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year, and it forecast a 38 per cent rise in global sales in the year ahead as it makes up for lost time.
Honda, which has lagged a recovery from the effects of disasters in Japan and Thailand by rivals Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co, reported operating profit for the January-March fourth-quarter of ¥111.98 billion (RM4.2 billion), slightly lagging an average estimate of ¥123.2 billion in a survey of 23 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net profit, which includes earnings made in China, rose 60.7 per cent to ¥71.59 billion.
The results ended a five-quarter decline in operating profits for Japan’s No.3 automaker, after a 2011 hammered by the yen’s record strength, natural disasters and a crisis of reputation in its key US market.
Honda suffered more than its rivals from disasters in Japan and Thailand last year.
It was the last Japanese car maker to get its supply chain in order after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, and only re-started work at its Thai car plant at the end of March this year after a six-month hiatus following October’s floods.
Honda forecast its global car sales to jump 38.4 per cent to 4.3 million vehicles and its motorcycle sales to rise 10.2 per cent to 16.6 million in 2012/13.
It sees sales in North America rising 31.5 per cent to 1.74 million vehicles, sales in Japan climbing by 20.7 per cent to 710,000 and the rest of Asia by 56.5 per cent to 1.31 million.
Helping its turnaround, Honda is expected to ride faster-than-expected growth in demand in the United States, its biggest and most profitable market, where sales of the remodelled CR-V crossover have jumped by more than a quarter so far this year.
Honda will also make minor changes later this year to the one-year-old Civic after the latest version of the perennially popular model got panned by critics, raising deeper concerns over whether the automaker was slipping in a battlefield made tougher by products from Hyundai Motor Co and resurgent US rivals Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co.
Honda’s shares have risen 5.5 per cent in the past three months, lagging gains of around 14 per cent by both Toyota and Nissan. — Reuters