TOKYO: Honda said Friday that its profit for the fiscal fourth quarter zoomed to more than double the previous year’s as the benefits of a weak yen in foreign currency exchange added to strong sales.
But momentum was forecast to ebb as the currency perk wears off.
January-to-March net profit totaled $1.67 billion. Quarterly sales surged 13 percent to $30 billion.
Honda, which has operations in Ohio, sold nearly 1.2 million vehicles worldwide during the quarter, helped by purchases by Japanese seeking to beat a sales-tax rise on April 1, up from slightly more than 1 million the same period a year earlier.
The company expects to sell 4.83 million vehicles globally for the fiscal year ending March 2015. It sold 4.3 million vehicles for the fiscal year, which ended March 2014.
Honda is forecasting a 4 percent rise in annual profit to $5.8 billion.
For the fiscal year just ended, Honda racked up a $5.6 billion profit, up dramatically from a year earlier, but slightly below the company’s more ambitious target given in January for a $5.7 billion profit.
Although the dollar soared to about 100 yen for the past fiscal year from about 80 yen the fiscal year before that, it’s unlikely to keep rising at that pace, to 120 yen, for instance.
Honda is expecting the dollar to continue to cost about 100 yen this fiscal year, too.
Toyota reports earnings results May 8. Nissan releases results May 12.
Separately, Mazda reported a nearly seven-fold rise in January-March profit to $572 million.
Mazda tends to benefit from a favorable exchange rate even more than other Japanese automakers, relying heavily on exports.