Honda doubles quarterly profit

Honda posted a more than doubling in quarterly operating profit, as production recovered from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year, and it forecast a 38 percent rise in global sales in the year ahead as it makes up for lost time.

The company, which has lagged a recovery from the effects of disasters in Japan and Thailand by rivals Toyota and Nissan, reported operating profit for the January-March fourth-quarter of 111.98 billion yen (£800m).
Net profit, which includes earnings made in China, rose 60.7 per cent to 71.59bn yen.

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 4.3m vehicles and its motorcycle sales to rise 10.2 per cent to 16.6m in 2012/13.

It sees sales in North America rising 31.5 per cent to 1.74m vehicles, sales in Japan climbing by 20.7 per cent to 710,000 and the rest of Asia by 56.5 per cent to 1.31m.