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Subaru profit jumps

Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries has posted a 71% jump in quarterly operating profit and is keeping its full-year forecasts intact as it expects the new Legacy to drive a further recovery.

Despite a rise in the yen against the dollar, operating profit was 15.49bn yen (£80m) for the July to September second quarter, bringing six-month profits in line with the company's estimate.

For the year to next March, Subaru is still expecting operating profit to fall 11% to 45bn yen as it puts money into developing new models for future growth.

"We had set these (profit) levels as part of our five-year business plan and the investment spending will start to bear fruit starting next year," executive vice president Shunsuke Takagi said.

As part of its new strategy, Subaru is looking to improve profit margins by crafting an image as a premium brand like Germany's BMW, starting with a high-end crossover vehicle, dubbed "XUV", due to hit US showrooms next year.

Subaru expects to sell 588,000 vehicles worldwide this business year, 23,000 fewer than its projection in August and down from the 626,000 vehicles foreseen in May.

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