Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp. posted a net profit of 16.83 billion yen ($152.13 million) for its April to June first quarter, up 1.7% from 16.56 billion yen for the same period in 2004, but maintained the forecast of a 20.7% drop in full-year earnings.
Sales were 637.85 billion yen ($5.77 billion), up 8.6%; operating profit was 28.78 billion yen ($260.15 million), up 4.6%;
In Suzuki's previous full year, April 2004 through March 2005, net profit surged 38.0% to a record 60.5 billion yen. Operating profit was 107.5 billion yen, up 13.0%; sales were 2.365 trillion yen, up 7.6%.
Suzuki has had five straight years of profit growth. However, for the current year to March 2006, the company continues to project a 20.7% decline in net profit to 48 billion yen, and a 16.3% fall in operating profit to 90 billion yen. Sales are forecast to rise 5.7% to 2.50 trillion yen.
Suzuki is one-fifth owned by General Motors Corp., and its automotive business is responsible for the lion's share of its sales. The company is the largest manufacturer in Japan of minicars, vehicles with engines no larger than 660cc; has a controlling 54% stake in Maruti Udyog, the largest carmaker in the rapidly growing Indian market; and has a firm foothold in markets in North America and Europe.
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