Honda cuts profit forecasts as China dispute hits 2012 sales

City A.M. Reporter
HONDA Motor cut its full-year net profit forecast by a fifth yesterday after sales in China were hit by a popular backlash against Japanese goods, and warned it could be February before business in the world’s biggest autos market returns to normal.

The cut, prompted by a slump in sales amid protests in a dispute about ownership of islands in the East China Sea, makes it likely that Japanese rivals Nissan Motor and Toyota Motor, will follow suit when they report earnings next week.

Honda, which provided motorcycles for the latest Bond film, cut its net profit forecast for the year to March to ¥375bn (£2.93bn) from ¥470bn.

Last year, Honda reported net profit of ¥211.5bn. It also cut its forecasts for annual operating profit and revenue, citing uncertain markets.

Net profit for July to September rose 36.1 per cent to ¥82.2bn, some way below estimates.