Honda said Wednesday that profits jumped in the six months to September as Japan's number-three automaker benefited from a weak yen and strong sales in North America.
Honda's new Accord Plug-in Hybrid on display in Tokyo on June 20, 2013
The company also reported brisk global demand for its name brand motorbikes, led by fast-growing markets in Asia.
A sharp decline in the yen this year has boosted profitability at major Japanese exporters including Honda rivals Toyota and Nissan, which report their earnings next week.
The country's top auto makers have also seen a rebound in demand from China, the world's biggest vehicle market, after a Tokyo-Beijing territorial dispute sparked a consumer boycott of Japanese brands.
On Wednesday, Honda said net profit rose 13.5 percent to $2.47 billion in the first six months to September with revenue up 21.6 percent at 5.72 trillion yen ($58.3 billion).
Profitability was even better in the quarter to September with net earnings up 46.4 percent year on year, it said.
Earnings in previous quarters were squeezed by Honda's heavy spending as it looks to expand production and further tap emerging markets.
The firm previously set aside 700 billion yen for capital spending for the fiscal year to March 2014, an 18 percent jump from the previous year.
It hopes to meet a global production target of six million units by the end of March 2017.
Honda last month launched its first low-cost car for Indonesia's booming auto market, part of plans to more than quadruple sales in the country by 2016.
The launch of the Mobilia, a multi-purpose vehicle, comes as Honda builds its second plant in Indonesia to boost both production and sales.
It has also unveiled a plan to build a new assembly plant in Brazil with an annual capacity of 120,000 units.
The $430 million facility, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) northwest of Sao Paulo, will become operational in 2015 and will double Honda's annual output capacity in the country to 240,000 units.
However, demand in Honda's home market may slow further as Japan prepares to usher in a sales tax hike next year.
"Japanese automakers in general showed a good performance thanks to a weak yen and stable demand in North America," said Shigeru Matsumura, auto analyst with SMBC Friend Securities in Tokyo.
But he added: "At home, we expect to see a negative impact from the tax hike, which will dent auto demand in Japan."
A weak yen is generally good for Japanese exporters as it makes their products more competitive abroad while inflating the value of their foreign income.
On Wednesday, Honda left unchanged its 580 billion yen annual profit forecast to March 2014.
The auto maker's Tokyo-listed shares closed 1.27 percent higher at 3,965 yen, before its results were published.
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