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Suzuki Cycle Sales Up 27.9% for Year

Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp. says group net profit for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2005, was Y60.51 billion ($572.96 million), up 38% from profit of Y43.84 billion ($415.11 million) for the previous year.
Sales rose 7.6% to Y2.366 trillion ($22.403 billion) from Y2.199 trillion ($20.815 billion) a year earlier. Motorcycle sales volume jumped 27.9% to 2.92 million units; automobile sales increased 9.0% to 1.89 million units.
Operating profit for the year ended March 31 was Y107.54 billion ($1.02 billion), up 13%. The company said higher sales and cost-cutting efforts offset the stronger yen against the dollar and increased investment and R&D costs.
While the recent year-end results signal the second straight year of record net profit, Suzuki says it expects net profit to fall 20.7% to Y48.0 billion ($454.37 million) in the current fiscal year as it raises its investment plans to Y280 billion ($2.651 billion) from Y163.3 billion ($1.546 billion) and lifts R&D costs to Y95 billion ($899.28 million) from Y86.9 billion ($822.61 million). The company said it also expects foreign exchange rates to squeeze profits.
Suzuki, an affiliate of General Motors Corp. - GM owns one-fifth of the Japanese company - also recently unveiled a five-year business plan that will end in March 2010. Under the plan, the Japanese OEM aims to lift group pretax profit to approximately Y150 billion ($1.420 billion) in the fiscal year through March 2010 and raise group sales to approximately Y3.000 trillion ($28.398 billion) that year.

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