Japan automaker Honda’s profit rises despite pandemic damage

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A woman wearing a face mask walks in front of a Honda Motor Co. showroom in Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Japanese automaker Honda reported Tuesday its fiscal third quarter profit more than doubled to 284 billion yen ($2.7 billion) despite the coronavirus pandemic as auto sales grew in Japan and the U.S. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO – Honda reported Tuesday its fiscal third quarter profit more than doubled to 284 billion yen ($2.7 billion) despite the coronavirus pandemic as auto sales grew in Japan and the U.S.

Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. had reported a 116 billion yen profit for October-December a year earlier.

Honda’s quarterly sales inched up less than 1% to 3.7 trillion yen ($35 billion).

Cost cuts also helped boost Honda’s bottom line, despite difficulties caused by the pandemic, including computer chip shortages, according to Tokyo-based Honda.

The maker of the Accord sedan, CR-V crossover and Asimo robot said it carried out a major review of its operations to streamline expenses.

Honda said its motorcycle sales slipped in the three months through December to about 3 million motorcycles from 3.1 million units a year ago.

Auto sales held up, increasing slightly to 809,000 vehicles from 808,000 vehicles.

Honda raised its profit forecast for the year through March to 465 billion yen ($4.4 billion), up from the previous projection for a 390 billion yen ($3.7 billion) profit.