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Weak yen helps Honda to record performance

Honda Motors has announced group profits up an impressive 40% between April and June, year on year, to a quarterly record, boosted by the weak yen and higher motorcycle sales.

According to today's FT, Japan's second-largest carmaker said group net income rose to ¥89.4bn ($715m) in the quarter, up from ¥63.8bn a year earlier and exceeding the quarterly record of ¥80bn profits posted three years ago. Honda was the only leading Japanese carmaker to increase global production in the first six months of this year.

But the company continues to be hit by its weak performance in Europe, where sales declined. The carmaker plans to bolster profits from its operations in Europe by introducing Honda Civic models with diesel engines and improving capacity utilisation at its UK plant in Swindown. Honda expects unit sales in Europe to increase from 191,000 last year to 350,000 by March 2004.

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