Honda profit up 6.9 per cent on strong US, Asia sales

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Tokyo (dpa) – Honda Motor said Wednesday its net profit for the July-to-September quarter rose 6.9 per cent from a year earlier to 127.7 billion yen (1.06 billion dollars), due to cost-cutting measures and robust sales in Asia and North America.

Japan’s third-largest carmaker said its operating profit for the three-month period edged down 2.5 per cent from the same period last year to 164.8 billion yen, while sales were up 15.6 per cent to 3.6 trillion yen.

Vehicle sales in North America climbed 9 per cent year-on-year to 473,000 units in the July-to-September quarter, and those in Asia rose 27.4 per cent to 395,000, while the carmaker sold 168,000 units in Japan, down 4.5 per cent from the same period in 2014.

Honda slightly raised its sales forecast to 14.6 trillion yen for the financial year through March 2016, from 14.5 trillion yen estimated in July.

The carmaker maintained its net profit forecast at 525 billion yen and operating profit outlook at 685 billion yen for the year.

Honda also said Wednesday it would not use Takata’s airbag inflators in new models being developed, Kyodo News agency reported.

Honda, a major client for Takata, was hit by millions of recalls over the Japanese parts maker’s defective airbags.

On Tuesday, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration slapped Takata with a 200-million-dollar fine, the largest civil penalty in its history, due to the company’s lack of cooperation in the aftermath of the scandal.

Takata’s defective airbags, which could rupture explosively when deployed, spraying metal fragments at drivers and passengers, have led to the deaths of at least seven people and injured 98. Millions of vehicles have been recalled as a result of the faulty airbags.

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