Honda Motor's third fiscal quarter operating profit (October-December) was likely between JPY120-170bn(US$1.3-$1.9bn), roughly twice that of the previous quarter, the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday.

Strong sales of fuel-efficient models in Asian markets such as India and Thailand could boost the automaker's annual operating profit well beyond JPY300bn, compared with its forecast JPY190bn, the Nikkei added.

A mean forecast in a poll of three analysts predicted JPY84.7bn in operating profit for October-December, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, while the mean estimate by 20 analysts for full-year operating profit was JPY237.4bn.