TOKYO -- Thanks to a weak yen and growth in global auto sales, Honda (IW 1000/29) said Tuesday its latest quarterly net profit jumped 19.6%.
Honda said it earned 146.5 billion yen (US$1.4 billion), up from 122.5 billion yen a year earlier, as sales rose 5.4% to 2.99 trillion yen.
Its new profit forecast for the fiscal year through March stood at 600 billion yen, up from 595 billion yen, while it also revised upward its full-year sales projection to 12.8 trillion yen, from 12.75 trillion yen.
Honda credited its profit gains to "increased revenue in our automobile and motorcycle business operations, as well as favorable foreign currency translation effects."
It added that the gain was also "due to a rise in automobile sales as a result of the positive effect of new model introductions and full model changes in Japan and Asia in addition to the positive impact of cost reduction efforts."
The Japanese auto industry has benefited from the big-spending policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with huge monetary easing measures from the premier's hand-picked team at the Bank of Japan helping push down the currency.
The weaker yen boosts Japanese manufacturers' bottom lines by making them more competitive overseas and inflating repatriated overseas profits.
Honda's global motorcycle sales rose 2% to 4.13 million units on rising demand across Asia.
In the automobile business, the maker of the Accord sedan sold 6.2% more vehicles as brisk sales in Asia offset a slump in North America.
In Japan, Honda's sales edged up 1.2% while profit was virtually unchanged at 62.1 billion yen for the first quarter, weathering the negative impact of an April sales tax hike which weighed on consumer spending.
In North America, the company's biggest market, sales rose moderately, but profit fell 6% to 67.5 billion yen due to growing operations costs.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014