TOKYO (Reuters) -- Suzuki Motor Corp., Japan's top minivehicle maker, reported robust quarterly operating profit on Monday, showing it is on track to achieve full-year forecasts.
Group operating profit for the April-June quarter was 24.58 billion yen ($204.8 million). It did not provide comparisons for the same period last year, as it was reporting quarterly figures for the first time.
But the figure was well over half the 37.85 billion yen made in April-September 2002, the first half of last business year.
Armed with new models and a strong brand, Suzuki has managed to boost its minicar sales in Japan by a 0.5 percent in the calendar year to date, even as overall demand fell 3.4 percent due to the popularity of the slightly bigger subcompact cars.
But Suzuki's overall sales could suffer nonetheless, because it also builds the 660cc cars for Mazda Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co., whose minivehicle sales are down more than three percent so far this year.
In the business year ended March 31, Suzuki, which is one-fifth owned by General Motors, achieved its best ever operating profit with a surge of more than 20 percent thanks to robust sales in the fast-growing Asian car market.
The minicar maker expects operating profit to rise another 15 percent this business year to 85 billion yen, largely due to the full consolidation of its Indonesian unit, Indomobile Suzuki.
Net profit for the latest quarter was 12.60 billion yen, already more than the 10.19 billion yen in made in the first half of last business year.