Honda reported a 88.3% year-on-year decrease in net profit over its first quarter ended June 30, 2011, thanks in large part to the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunamis in Japan.
Honda reported a profit of 31.7 billion yen (US$411.1 million) over the quarter, a fraction of the 272.4 billion yen (US$3.53 billion) reported over the same quarter last year. The decrease came mainly from a large dropoff in automobile sales.
Net sales from the motorcycle division helped keep Honda in the black despite a drop in unit sales. Honda reported a net income of 44.9 billion yen (US$582.4 million), a 43.5% increase from the net sales of 31.3 billion yen (US$406.1 million) from the same period last year. Unit sales were down 4.7% to 2.75 million units from 2.89 million units, but Honda was able to increase profits thanks to changes in its product offerings.
Honda credits the CBR250R for having a positive impact on sales in North America, Japan, Germany and the U.K. while the lucrative Asian market had a strong demand for models such as the Scoopy-i in Thailand, the CB Shine in India, the Air Blade and PCX in Vietnam, and the Wave series in Thailand and Vietnam. Brazil was another strong market for Honda, thanks to the popularity of models such as the CG150 Fan, Biz 125 and CB300R.
North American sales were down 23.3% to 46,000 units from 60,000 units. Positive results from the introduction of the CBR250R were offset by decreased sales for the Fury, Gold Wing and VFR1200F.
Sales were also down 9.4% in Asia, with 2.2 million units sold compared to 2.4 million units. Europe saw a slight drop in sales as well but sales were up in Japan and other markets like Brazil.
Despite the drop in net profit, Honda raised its forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012 to 230 billion yen (US$3.00 billion) from its previous forecast of 195 billion yen (US$2.53 billion). Honda expects to sell 12.7 million motorcycles over the fiscal year, an increase from the 11.5 million sold the previous year. North American sales are expected to increase to 195,000 units from 185,000 units.