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Honda profit quadruples in disaster recovery

Honda Motor Co.'s quarterly profit quadrupled to $1.7

Honda Motor Co.'s quarterly profit quadrupled to $1.7 billion as the Japanese automaker recovered from last year's natural disasters with more vehicles sold across all key regions, except Europe. (July 31, 2012) Credit: AP

TOKYO - Honda's quarterly profit quadrupled to $1.7 billion as the Japanese automaker bounced back from last year's natural disasters with more vehicles sold across all key regions, except  Europe.

Tokyo-based Honda Motor Co., which makes the Fit subcompact, Odyssey minivan and Asimo walking robot, said Tuesday its April to June quarter sales surged 42 percent to $31.2 billion.

Vehicle sales doubled in the key markets of Japan and North America but were weak in Europe where austerity measures to tackle the region's debt crisis have crimped demand. Honda reported global sales of 849,000 vehicles for the quarter, up from 458,000 a year earlier.

The earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan and the flooding in Thailand last year disrupted parts supplies and production for all Japanese automakers.

Honda's profit for the April to June period last year was $405.4 million.

But the Japanese automakers are making a comeback. Toyota Motor Corp., which reports earnings Friday, regained its crown as the world's biggest selling automaker from General Motors Co. in the first half of the year.

Honda stuck to its forecast of $6 billion profit for the fiscal year through March 2013. That would be more than double what it earned last fiscal year. It expects to sell 4.3 million vehicles for the fiscal year, up by more than a million vehicles from 3.1 million vehicles for last year.

Mazda Motor Corp. on Tuesday said its losses for the April-June quarter shrank to $83.3 million  from the $326.4 million of red ink it reported a year earlier.

Last week, Nissan reported a $900 million profit, down 15 percent, hammered by the damage from the strong yen, which erodes the value of its overseas earnings.

But Nissan's worldwide sales rose 2.6 percent, and it remained upbeat, raising its earnings forecast for this fiscal year to a $5 billion  profit from $3.6 billion.

Honda got a perk from its motorcycle division, selling nearly 2.4 million motorcycles in the quarter, up 21 percent from 1.9 million motorcycles a year earlier.

Overall sales revenue in Japan jumped 61 percent and 66 percent in North American. Sales revenue was up 37 percent in Asia excluding Japan. The only region where Honda's revenue fell was in Europe, by 2 percent.

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