Honda first-half net profit slumps almost 20%, full-year forecast down

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A Honda logo is pictured during the Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo on October 23, 2019. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP
A Honda logo is pictured during the Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo on October 23, 2019. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU

Japanese carmaker Honda said Friday its first-half net profit dropped 19% on negative currency exchange rates and falling motorcycle sales, slightly revising down profit forecasts for the full year.

For the April-September period, Honda posted net profit of ¥368.85-billion ($3.38-billion), down 19% from a year earlier, as sales slipped 1.8% to ¥7.725-trillion.

Car sales increased by a measly 0.4%

For the full year to March, Honda now expects ¥575-billion net profit on sales of ¥15.05-trillion, compared with ¥645-billion net profit on sales of ¥15.65-trillion in the previous forecast.

The company however said operating profit, "excluding currency effects and one-time issues, increased ¥50-billion compared with the same period last year" due to cost-cutting efforts.

Automobile sales by unit edged up 0.4%, while motorcycle sales by unit slipped 6.1% chiefly due to slowdown in the Indian market, it said in a statement.

For the full year to March, it will keep the same level of operating profit as the previous year "by steadily implementing initiatives to improve profitability" despite a higher yen, "the worsening economy in India and a decrease in sales in Japan," it said.

The announcement comes a day after its bigger rival Toyota reported record net profit and sales for the first half, with cost-cutting efforts helping to boost its balance sheet.

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