Honda's profit climbs on growing sales, cost cutting

TOKYO — Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. reported a 12 percent rise in its January-March profit thanks to growing sales and cost cutting. Tokyo-based Honda said Friday it posted a January-March profit of 107.7 billion yen ($988 million), up from 95.9 billion yen a year earlier. That's on sales of 3.9 trillion yen ($36 billion), up 4 percent. Honda, which makes the Odyssey minivan and Asimo robot, says the results were achieved despite some unfavorable currency moves.

The company also suffered from costs related to a massive recall caused by faulty air-bag inflators made by Takata Corp. Honda was among Takata's biggest customers.

But that was offset by strong sales, especially of motorcycles, in other Asian nations such as India and Vietnam.

Honda's annual profit soared nearly 72 percent to 1.06 trillion yen ($9.7 billion), helped by a reduction of corporate tax rates in the U.S.

It sold nearly 5.2 million vehicles around the world for the fiscal year, up from 5 million the previous fiscal year. That fell slightly short of its forecast for selling 5.22 million vehicles.

Honda expects to sell nearly 5.4 million vehicles for the fiscal year through March 2019.

But it's projecting annual profit to skid by about half to 570 billion yen ($5.2 billion) because of a stronger dollar, which erodes revenue for Japanese exporters like Honda.

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Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Her work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyama

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