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Honda drives into profit as market picks up

CARMAKER Honda has reported a profit for the first three months of 2010.

The Japanese company said it made a net profit of 72bn yen (£507m) between January and March, with sales rising by 28 per cent.

A recovery in the major US and Japanese car markets helped Honda, as well as expansion in developing markets including China.

Honda also announced that it expected annual profits for the year as a whole to be up ten per cent.

Fourth quarter revenue rose 27.8 per cent year-on-year to 2.2 trillion yen, with the Chinese market and Japanese government incentives for new cars helping to fuel the figures.

Rival carmaker Mitsubishi also returned to the black while Mazda has seen a narrowing of its losses as the global car market improves.

Vice president Koichi Kondo said: “The company’s efforts for cost cutting, was one of the main factors. The performance in the motorcycle division remained resilient.”