Honda profit jumps on cost cuts, absence of recall expenses

Honda says profit jumped 36 percent October-December on year, shrugging off damage from a strong yen, and the Japanese automaker raised its annual forecast.

Tokyo-based Honda Motor Co. reported Friday cost cuts lifted fiscal third quarter profit to 168.8 billion yen ($1.5 billion), up from 124.1 billion yen the previous year.

Quarterly sales edged down 3 percent to 3.5 trillion yen ($31 billion) from 3.6 trillion yen.

Honda, which makes the Odyssey minivan, Asimo child-like robot and Super Cub motorcycle, raised its full fiscal year profit forecast to 545 billion yen ($4.8 billion).

That was up 58 percent from 344.5 billion yen a year ago, when Honda was hit by expenses for recalls over Takata air bags.

Honda had earlier expected a 415 billion yen ($3.6 billion) annual profit.