Honda quarterly profits plunge 90%

Honda's booming motorcycle sales have helped mitigate some of the massive impact Japan's earthquake and tsunami have had on its quarterly profits.

Profit for the three months from April to June were down nearly 90% - from 272.4 billion yen (£2.2 billion) during the same period last year to 31.7 billion yen (£251 million) - the company said in a trading update.

Honda was among many car makers hit with crippling production and supply problems after the twin disasters struck north-eastern Japan on March 11.

Despite the profits plunge the company says it has been able to make a quicker-than-expected comeback and expects production to return to normal towards the end of 2011.

The company has revised upwards its global car sales forecast for the fiscal year until March 2012 to 3.435 million vehicles. It is still lower than the 3.512 million figure for last year.

Part of the reason it has managed to hold on through the car production crisis is the soaring demand of motorcycles.

Motorbike sales are expected to reach 12.7 million - 55,000 more than earlier forecast and above the 11.45 million sold the previous year.

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