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Suzuki sales slip, downgrades annual forecast
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Feb 6, 2012


Japan's Suzuki Motor said Monday its net profit fell 4.7 percent for the nine months to December and downgraded its annual sales forecast due to the impact of a strong yen and a slump in India.

The Japanese motorcycle and small car specialist said its group net profit came to 40.6 billion yen ($530 million) for the period, down from 42.6 billion yen a year earlier.

Operating profit for the nine months fell 5.1 percent from a year earlier to 87.7 billion yen on sales of 1.8 trillion yen, down 6.7 percent.

The profit and revenue decline was mainly due to slower sales in India and a sharp rise of the yen, Suzuki said, adding that it was also still struggling to recover from the impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

In Japan, sales fell 3.5 percent after production temporarily stopped due to the natural disasters, while the strong yen put the brakes on exports.

In the rest of Asia, Suzuki's sales fell 13.3 percent as India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki struggled, while the appreciating yen reduced the value of the company's repatriated overseas earnings.

Its sales in North America rose 7.5 percent but those in Europe fell 2.3 percent.

For the year to March, Suzuki revised downward its annual sales forecast to 2.5 trillion yen from its earlier estimate of 2.61 trillion yen. It has left its annual net profit forecast unchanged at 50 billion yen.

"We had aimed at bigger sales and profit by recovering from the East Japan Great Earthquake, but we have revised downward group sales forecast due to the impact of the strong yen and flooding in Thailand," the company said.

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