Honda raises forecasts but warns on coronavirus hit

by AFP/ pic by BLOOMBERG

TOKYO – Japanese carmaker Honda on Friday revised up its full-year profit forecasts but warned that the impact from the spreading coronavirus crisis was not yet included in their figures.

Over the nine-month period from April to December, Honda said net profit fell more than 20 percent to 485.29 billion yen ($4.45 billion) from a year earlier.

However, it said cost-cutting efforts meant it could revise up its full-year profit forecast to 595 billion yen from an earlier estimate of 575 billion yen.

But the firm warned: “The impact related to the spread of novel coronavirus infections is not reflected in the forecasts.”

A spokesman said Honda was closely watching the situation in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the outbreak, as to whether it would reopen its factory from Feb 14.

The virus has now claimed more than 630 lives, mainly in China, but has also spread to several other countries and played havoc with global supply chains.

The announcement comes a day after rival Toyota reported a surge in net profit on record sales for the nine months to December, and upgraded its full-year profit forecasts.

Earlier on Friday, Toyota said it would keep its Chinese factories shut until Feb 16, extending its suspension by a week owing to the coronavirus crisis.