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Honda drives into net losses

HONDA Motor Co said yesterday that it booked losses during the January-March period, but fiscal year profits were well above its target and that of financial analysts.

Japan's second-largest car maker expects its profit to decline sharply in the current fiscal year but doesn't expect to slide into the red.

Honda said it had net losses of 186.16 billion yen (US$1.94 billion) in the fourth quarter, down from a 25.43 billion yen profit a year earlier.

For the fiscal year through March, though, Honda earned a net profit of 137 billion yen.

While that was less than a quarter of its profit a year earlier, it was above the company's forecast of 80 billion yen set in January. A survey of 24 analysts by Thomson Reuters had forecast an average profit of 93.67 billion yen for the year.

Like rivals at home and abroad, Honda is feeling squeezed by the global slowdown but so far has managed to outperform its peers, maintaining profits even as revenues fall. Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co are both forecasting net losses for the just-ended fiscal year.

Honda said it sold less vehicles in all regions during the fiscal fourth quarter.


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