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Honda Reports Its Profit Rose on the Back of Strong U.S. Demand

Honda said it remained committed to "initiatives toward electrification."

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AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automaker Honda's profit rose 3.5% in the October-December quarter from a year earlier on the back of solid demand in the U.S. and Europe and a recovery in its home market, the company said Thursday.

Tokyo-based Honda Motor Co.'s profit in the last quarter was 253.3 billion yen, or $1.7 billion. Quarterly sales jumped 21% to 5.39 trillion yen ($36 billion).

A favorable exchange rate helped amplify Honda's overseas profits in yen terms and is expected to continue through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in March.

The dollar has been trading at about 148 Japanese yen, up from about 140 yen last year.

All the automakers have been hurt by shortages of computer chips and other parts, partly due to disruptions in manufacturing because of the coronavirus pandemic. The latest results show Honda has mostly but not yet fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels in some locations.

Honda's motorcycle sales grew in recent months in Brazil and Europe, according to the manufacturer of the Fit small car, Super Cub motorcycle and Asimo robot.

Honda said it remained committed to "initiatives toward electrification," pointing to the global electric vehicle concept models shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, such as the Saloon and Space Hub.

Japanese automakers including Honda have lagged in the global push toward pure EVs, partly because of their strength in other green models such as hybrids and fuel cells.

Over the first nine months of the fiscal year, Honda sold 3.1 million vehicles, up from 2.7 million vehicles the previous year, with sales especially strong in the U.S.

A decline in Honda's vehicle sales in Thailand and Indonesia was offset by rising sales in China.

For the full fiscal year through March, Honda is projecting a 960 billion yen ($6.5 billion) profit, up from an earlier forecast for a 930 billion yen ($6.3 billion), and surpassing the 651 billion yen earned the year before.

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