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Honda posts Q1 net loss but forecasts full-year profit



Japanese carmaker Honda on Wednesday reported a net loss for the first-quarter and forecast a much-reduced full-year profit as the coronavirus pandemic hits sales and production.

For the April-June quarter, the firm posted an 80.87 billion yen ($770 million) net loss, against a 172.30 billion yen profit in the same period last year.

Sales plunged 46.9 percent on-year to 2.12 trillion yen, forcing the automaker to record operating losses of 113.69 billion yen.

Like other car firms, Honda “was forced to suspend production and sales activities in many countries throughout the first quarter”, vice president Seiji Kuraishi said in an online news conference.

“In the four-wheel business, we suspended production in 12 out of 17 countries as of the end of April, but now we’ve resumed operation in all production bases,” he said.

“We will swiftly move towards getting our products into the market from the second quarter,” he said.

For the full-year to March 2021, Honda said it would record a net profit of 165 billion yen, down 63.8 percent from the previous year, on sales of 12.8 trillion yen, which would be down 14.3 percent.

In the United States, even though it suffered declining sales in the first quarter, it is recovering “at a pace faster than” the US automobile market as a whole, Kuraishi said.

Looking ahead, however, Honda said it anticipates slower sales in the US and Japan, he said.

In China, where the auto market as a whole is rebounding thanks to government stimulus measures, the automaker aims to sell more vehicles than last year, he said.

The announcement comes a week after rival Nissan warned of a massive $6.4 billion net loss for the current fiscal year as it reels from the pandemic.

Last week, US auto giant General Motors also reported a loss hit by the pandemic but at a smaller-than-expected scale thanks to strong pricing for some newer auto models.