Honda reported a 41% decrease in net income over the third quarter, thanks primarily to the rising Japanese yen, continuing effects from the Japanese earthquake and floods in Thailand interrupting automobile production.
Thanks to recovering auto sales and growing motorcycle sales in emerging markets, Honda reported a net profit of 47.6 billion yen (US$624 million) in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011. In comparison however, Honda raked in a net profit of 81.1 billion yen (US$1.07 billion) in the same quarter the previous year.
While automobile and power products sales dipped over the quarter, motorcycle sales increased 6.3%. Honda sold 3.076 million units over the third quarter, up from the 2.895 million units sold the same quarter last year. Increased demand for Honda motorcycles translated into net sales of 302.5 billion yen (US$3.963 billion) over the quarter, a slight increase from net sales of 301.9 billion yen (US$3.956 billion) reported last year.
North American motorcycle sales totaled 48,000 units, a year-on-year increase of 9.1% from 44,000 units. Honda attributes its North American growth to increased sales of its Shadow cruisers and utility ATVs.
Sales in the Asian market continued to rise, with Honda selling 2.45 million units, up from 2.34 million units. Sales decreased in Thailand due to the flooding but Indian consumers scooped up Honda’s Activa and CB Shine models while Vietnamese consumers were attracted to the Air Blade and Wave series models. The CBR250R sportbike and the Giorno scooter helped buoy sales in Japan to 51,000 units.
European sales however dropped again after increasing in the second quarter. Honda sold 31,000 units in the third quarter, a drop of 8,000 units from the year before. Honda’s SH series scooters saw a drop, especially in southern Europe, but the NSC110 scooter had a positive impact in Italy.
Looking forward, Honda has lowered its forecast, expecting a year-end net profit of 215 billion yen (US$2.82 billion), a drop of 12.2% from the net profit of 534 billion yen (US$6.99 billion) reported in the previous fiscal year. Honda also lowered its motorcycle sales forecast slightly to 12.66 million motorcycles from 12.71 million units.