Suzuki Sales Slip


Japan’s Suzuki Motor said its net profit fell 4.7 per cent for the nine months to December and downgraded its annual sales forecast due to the impact of a strong yen and a slump in India.

The Japanese motorcycle and small car specialist said its group net profit came to 40.6 billion yen (S$659.3 million) for the period, down from 42.6 billion yen a year earlier.

Operating profit for the nine months fell 5.1 per cent from a year earlier to 87.7 billion yen on sales of 1.8 trillion yen, down 6.7 per cent.

The profit and revenue decline was mainly due to slower sales and a sharp rise of the yen, Suzuki said, adding that it was also still struggling to recover from the impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

In Japan, sales fell 3.5 per cent after production temporarily stopped due to the natural disasters, while the strong yen put the brakes on exports. In the rest of Asia, Suzuki’s sales fell 13.3 per cent as India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki struggled, while the appreciating yen reduced the value of the company’s repatriated overseas earnings.

Its sales in North America rose 7.5 per cent but those in Europe fell 2.3 per cent.

For the year to March, Suzuki revised downward its annual sales forecast to 2.5 trillion yen from its earlier estimate of 2.61 trillion yen. It has left its annual net profit forecast unchanged at 50 billion yen.

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