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Honda raises earnings forecast on sales
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08:46, January 31, 2008

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Honda Motor Co, Japan's second-largest carmaker, raised its full-year net income forecast 7.8 percent after demand for its fuel-efficient models spurred sales in the United States and Asia.

The automaker expects a record profit of 690 billion yen ($6.5 billion) in the year ending March 31 compared with an October forecast of 640 billion yen, it said yesterday. Net income in the quarter ended Dec 31 rose 38 percent to 200 billion yen.

With gasoline prices in the US near a record $3 a gallon, customers opted for smaller models such as Honda's Fit compact and the CR-V small sport-utility vehicle over larger SUVs and pick-up trucks. Tokyo-based Honda also won customers in China, Europe and India.

"Higher gasoline prices will continue boosting demand for Honda," said Hitoshi Yamamoto, chief executive officer of Fortis Asset Management in Tokyo.

"Japanese automakers will grab market share from their US rivals with their fuel- efficient models."

Honda's third-quarter sales rose 10 percent to 3.04 trillion yen.

Its net income in the period was higher than the 148.2 billion yen average of six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Source:China Daily/Agencies

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