Denso raises projection for annual profits by 5.6 percent

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Denso Corp., the world's second-largest auto supplier, raised its annual operating profit forecast by 5.6 percent, as a weaker yen helped boost exports, resulting in foreign exchange gains.

Denso forecast a 380 billion yen ($3.73 billion) annual operating profit for the year ending March, up 44.8 percent from a year ago but lower than the average estimate of 384.7 billion yen in a Thomson Reuters poll of 17 analysts.

Denso's nine-month operating profit rose 54.2 percent year-on-year to 289.9 billion yen after it saw an increase in car production in North America.

Denso is 22.3 percent owned by Toyota Motor Corp., which is also a major client. It also supplies parts to Honda Motor Co. and General Motors as well as other big global automakers.

Denso shares were down as much as 2 percent after the numbers were released, hitting a six-week low of 5,230 yen.

The shares have risen by more than 75 percent since the beginning of last year, outpacing a 42 percent rise in Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei average.