Honda Q2 net jumps on Accord

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Tokyo, Oct 25: Honda Motor Co <7267.T> posted a 63 percent rise in quarterly profit on Thursday as strong global sales of its new CR-V crossover and Accord sedan made up for higher raw materials costs and dismal domestic demand.

Honda, Japan's second-biggest automaker and the world's top motorcycle maker, said its net profit was 208.5 billion yen ($1.83 billion) for the July-September quarter, ahead of an average estimate of 185.8 billion yen from four brokerages surveyed by Reuters Estimates and comfortably above last year's 127.91 billion profit. The comparison was flattered by finance-related losses a year earlier.

For the year to March 31, 2008, Tokyo-based Honda raised its net forecast to 640 billion yen from 625 billion yen, but kept its operating profit forecast at 880 billion yen, slightly lower than consensus forecasts.

Second-quarter operating profit, which excludes earnings made in China, grew 48.3 percent to 286.3 billion yen. Honda's factories are running at full capacity around the world, including in Japan despite weak domestic sales, thanks to brisk demand for exports.

Orders have been especially strong for the remodelled CR-V crossover from would-be SUV drivers hoping to get more mileage out of expensive gasoline.

Shares of Honda, the world's fourth-most valuable automaker behind Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T>, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG , fell 20 percent in the year to Wednesday, faring worse than Tokyo's transport sub-index <.ITEQP.T>, which has fallen 16 percent.


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