Earthquake damages Honda profits
Honda's quarterly profit plunged nearly 90% to 31.7 billion yen (£251 million) because of sales damage from the earthquake in north-eastern Japan.
The car giant's April-June profit was just a fraction of the 272.4 billion yen (£2.2 billion) profit it posted a year earlier.
But the company said that it managed to hold up despite the March 11 quake and tsunami, thanks to its growing motorcycle business.
Tokyo-based Honda raised its full-year forecasts and said it now expects a 230 billion yen (£1.8 billion) profit for the fiscal year ending March 2012.
That is less than half of its 534 billion yen (£4.2 billion) profit in the previous fiscal year, but better than the 195 billion yen (£1.5 billion) it forecast in June.
Honda also raised its annual sales projection to 8.7 trillion yen (£68.9 million), down 3% from the previous year, but better than the 8.3 trillion yen (£65.7 million) it expected in June.
The manufacturer expects to sell 3.435 million vehicles worldwide, some 135,000 more than it had given as its forecast in June. It sold 3.512 million vehicles the previous fiscal year.
Honda's motorcycle business is booming, and it expects to sell 12.7 million motorcycles for the fiscal year to March 2012, up from 11.45 million the previous year. That is also better than its earlier forecast of 12.645 million motorcycle sales this fiscal year.
Meanwhile, fellow Japanese car maker Mitsubishi Motors sprang back into the black for the first quarter as growth in emerging markets offset damage from the earthquake.
The company posted a 4.3 billion yen (£34 million) profit for the April-June period, after a loss of 11.8 billion yen (£93.5 billion) a year earlier. Quarterly sales rose nearly 7% to 431.9 billion (£3.4 billion) from the previous year.