Honda first-half net profit slumps 19%, full-year forecast down

by AFP/ pic by BLOOMBERG

TOKYO – Japanese carmaker Honda said Friday its first-half net profit dropped 19 percent on negative currency exchange rates and falling motorcycle sales, slightly revising down profit forecasts for the full year.

For the April-September period, Honda posted net profit of 368.85 billion yen ($3.38 billion), down 19 percent from a year earlier, as sales slipped 1.8 percent to 7.725 trillion yen.

For the full year to March, Honda now expects 575 billion yen net profit on sales of 15.05 trillion yen, compared with 645 billion yen net profit on sales of 15.65 trillion yen in the previous forecast.

The company however said operating profit, “excluding currency effects and one-time issues, increased 50.0 billion yen compared with the same period last year” due to cost-cutting efforts.

Automobile sales by unit edged up 0.4 percent, while motorcycle sales by unit slipped 6.1 percent chiefly due to slowdown in the Indian market, it said in a statement.

For the full year to March, it will keep the same level of operating profit as the previous year “by steadily implementing initiatives to improve profitability” despite a higher yen, “the worsening economy in India and a decrease in sales in Japan,” it said.

The announcement comes a day after its bigger rival Toyota reported record net profit and sales for the first half, with cost-cutting efforts helping to boost its balance sheet.