TOKYO - Boosted by exchange rate gains and booming sales in Japan and the United States, Honda Motor Co. posted record revenue and net and operating profits in the fiscal year ended March 31.
Net income jumped 56.2 percent to ¥362.7 billion, or $2.7 billion, on a consolidated, or group, basis in the latest year, as revenue rose 17.7 percent in North America and 8.2 percent in Japan.
Currency gains, including the weakening of the yen against the euro, added $1.0 billion to Honda's operating profit of $4.8 billion, up 57.1 percent. A weaker yen translates to more profits in yen from every dollar received from sales overseas.
Based on worldwide revenue of $55.3 billion, up 13.9 percent over a year earlier, Honda earned an operating profit margin of 8.7 percent and a net margin of 4.9 percent.
"We didn't spend much (on U.S.-market incentives) because sales didn't drop as much as expected between January and March, although I had expected a backlash" from automakers' cut-rate financing schemes, said Koichi Amemiya, Honda's executive vice president in charge of North American sales.
Honda is more bullish on the fiscal year that started April 1. It expects records for net income, operating profit and revenue because of anticipated strong sales in the United States.
Honda expects net income to rise about 27 percent to $3.45 billion on revenue of $60.8 billion, up about 10 percent.
In the last fiscal year, Honda's North American unit sales rose 1.6 percent to 1.4 million, about half of the company's global total. In the current year, Honda hopes to sell 1.49 million units, placing a big bet on the redesigned Accord, likely to arrive in October, as well as the Odyssey produced in Alabama.
Sales at home jumped 13.1 percent to 878,000. Europe is Honda's weak spot. Sales in the region dropped 7.9 percent to 176,000, and Honda posted a $265.2 million operating loss there in the last fiscal year.