Honda reports 19 percent rise in profit on sales, cost cuts

Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. is reporting a nearly 19 percent improvement in its fiscal first quarter profit on better sales and cost cuts.

Tokyo-based Honda, which makes the Fit subcompact, Accord sedan and Asimo robot, reported Tuesday a 207.3 billion yen ($1.9 billion) profit for April-June, up from 174.6 billion yen the same period last year.

Quarterly sales rose 7 percent to 3.71 trillion yen ($33.8 billion).

Honda expects to sell 5.08 million vehicles for the fiscal year through March 2018, up from nearly 5.03 million vehicles for the last fiscal year.

Honda raised its annual profit forecast to 545 billion yen ($5 billion) from an earlier forecast it gave in April for 530 billion yen ($4.8 billion). Its profit was 616.5 billion yen in the previous year.