TOKYO -- Japanese compact car maker Suzuki Motor Corp. posted a stronger-than-expected 5.1 percent rise in quarterly operating profit on Monday and lifted its full-year forecasts to account for a favorable weakening in the yen.
For the year to next March, Suzuki, held one-fifth by General Motors, now projects an operating profit of 108 billion yen ($933.2 million) instead of 90 billion yen, which would mark a sixth straight year of record profits.
A revision to Suzuki's typically conservative forecast was expected, but the new figure was still short of market projections for operating profit to total 112 billion yen, according to a survey of 15 brokerages by Reuters Estimates.
Last week, rival minivehicle maker Daihatsu Motor Co., part of the Toyota Motor Corp. group, also raised its full-year forecast thanks to brisk demand.
For the July-September second quarter, operating profit at Suzuki came to 28.08 billion yen ($242.6 million), while net profit jumped 16.4 percent to 14.11 billion yen.
Analysts, on average, had estimated second-quarter operating profit of 27 billion yen and net profit of 14 billion yen.
Revenue grew 10.4 percent to 635.51 billion yen.
For the full year, Suzuki now expects a higher revenue than it forecast three months ago, but it cut its sales volume projections for cars and motorcycles overseas.
It now expects global car sales to rise 9.7 percent from last year to 2.074 million units instead of 2.189 million, and motorcycle sales to total 3.485 million units, up 20 percent from last year but down from a previous forecast of 3.67 million.
But a weaker yen is now expected to contribute 1 billion yen to operating profits for the year, with the average dollar rate set at 110 yen instead of 100 yen.
On the previous assumption, currencies would have shaved 23 billion yen from profits.