Honda raises full-year forecast after 67% quarterly profit jump

TOKYO — Honda reported a 67 per cent profit increase in the latest quarter on higher demand and cost reductions.

Operating profit for the three months to Dec. 31 was 277.7 billion yen (C$3.38 billion), Honda said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Automobile sales results exceeded the same period last year since October due mainly to the launch of new N-ONE,” Seiji Kuraishi, Honda’s chief operating officer, said at a press briefing, referring to the company’s micro city car launch in Japan in November.

Honda raised its fiscal full-year profit forecast to 520 billion yen (C$6.63 billion), up from the 420 billion yen profit it predicted three months ago.

Honda said expects to sell 4.5 million cars globally in its fiscal year to March 31 compared with a previous forecast of 4.6 million vehicles

China, one of Honda’s biggest markets, grew by 6.4 per cent in December as it continued to lead the industry’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Honda Canadian sales during the fourth quarter were down 11.4 per cent to 34,937 vehicles. The automaker operates two assembly plants in Ontario, where it builds the Honda Civic and Honda CR-V. It also operates an engine plant in the province.

Honda is accelerating its shift to electric cars and other zero-emissions vehicles, aiming for two-thirds of its output to be new-energy vehicles by 2030. Last year it launched the Honda e full-electric car and also plans to begin selling new autonomous vehicles.

The automaker cut production last month by about 4,000 units, mainly affecting its Fit and Jazz models, due to the global shortage of automotive semiconductors.

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