Honda’s profit rises on weak yen, strong motorcycle sales

TOKYO (AP) — Honda Motor Corp. said Wednesday that its fiscal second quarter profit rose nearly 14% as a weaker yen boosted its overseas earnings and strong demand raised sales of its vehicles and motorcycles.

Tokyo-based Honda reported a July-September profit of 189.2 billion yen, or $1.3 billion. Quarterly sales rose 25%.

Honda Group sold nearly 5 million motorcycles in the last quarter, up from 4.2 million motorcycles a year earlier. It sold 970,000 vehicles, up from 917,000.

The maker of the Civic, Accord and Clarity fuel cell models said in a statement that its operations were hurt by a semiconductor shortage that has slammed the global auto industry. Rising costs for raw materials also ate into profits.

But the company was helped by favorable currency fluctuations, price increases, reductions in sales incentives and growth in its motorcycle sales.

A weak yen boosts the earnings of Japanese exporters like Honda when translating overseas revenue into yen. The U.S. dollar was at about 110 yen a year ago but is now trading at nearly 150 yen.

Honda lowered its sales forecast for the fiscal year ending in March to 4.1 million vehicles from an earlier estimate of 4.2 million vehicles. That’s still better than the 4 million in vehicle sales Honda recorded the previous fiscal year.

Honda also lowered its motorcycles sales forecast for the full fiscal year to 18.4 million motorcycles, down from an earlier projected 18.56 million motorcycles. Honda sold 17 million motorcycles in the previous fiscal year.

Honda now expects to earn 725 billion yen ($5 billion) for the fiscal year, up from an earlier projection for 710 billion yen ($4.9 billion) profit, and an improvement from the 707 billion profit racked up the previous fiscal year.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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