Honda Motor Company unaudited financial results for the fiscal first quarter ended June 30, 2003 show net profit of JPY101.8 billion ($US850 million), down 5.4% from the same period in 2002. Net income per share for the quarter was JPY106.02 ($US0.88), JPY110.42 in 2002.

Unit sales of Honda motorcycles, cars and power products all increased for the quarter and consolidated net sales and other operating revenue reached a record high of JPY2,008.2 billion ($US16,763 million), an increase of 3.7% over the corresponding period in 2002.

Honda estimates that had the exchange rate of the yen remained unchanged from the same period in 2002, revenue for the quarter would have increased by approximately 8.2%.

Consolidated operating income for the first quarter totaled JPY150.1 billion ($US1,254 million), a decrease of 12.1% compared to the same period in 2002 due to the appreciation of the yen and an increase in selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, which offset increased revenue, Honda's ongoing cost reduction efforts and a decrease of research and development (R&D) expenses.

Consolidated income before income taxes for the quarter totaled JPY147.9 billion ($US1,235 million), a decrease of 9.6% from the same period in 2002.

Car sales increased by 2.0% to 708,000 units, due primarily to favourable sales in North America, Europe and Asian countries, which offset reduced sales in Japan. As a result, revenue increased 4.5% to JPY1,621.0 billion ($US13,531 million) during the quarter.

Motorcycle unit sales increased 9.5% to 2,001,000 units, due mainly to strong sales in Asian countries. However, revenue decreased 4.1% to JPY241.5 billion ($US2,016 million) due to the appreciation of the yen against the US dollar, which had negative currency translation effects.

Revenue from financial services increased 7.7% to JPY63.9 billion due mainly to higher revenue from strong car sales in North America.

Unit sales of power products totaled 1,217,000 units, an increase of 8.6% compared to the corresponding period in 2002.

Despite the decrease in first quarter net profit, Honda is forecasting full year net profit up 5.7% at JPY451 billion. Half-year profit is foreseen up 5.8% to JPY206 billion.