Honda Motor consolidated net income for the fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2005 was down 11.7% year on year to JPY133.1bn (USD1,128m). Income per share fell to JPY144.81 from JPY161.78.

In contrast, revenue for the quarter rose 15.8% to JPY2,472bn thanks to favourable currency rates.

Honda said that if the yen exchange rate had remained unchanged from a year ago, revenue for the quarter would have increased by approximately 7.3%.

Consolidated operating income rose 23.7% to JPY194.9bn, primarily due to the positive currency effects,  offsetting increased expenses and research and development investment.

Automobile sales volume of 816,000 units was roughly the same as in 2004. Japanese volume slumped 9.8% to 156,000 units while overseas sales rose 2.5% to 660,000 due mainly to continued strong sales in North America.

Honda's third quarter motorcycle unit sales rose 12.3% to 2,788,000 units. Overseas sales rose 12.8% to 2,712,000 units while volume in Japan was off 2.6% to 76,000.

The increase in overseas unit sales was due mainly to increased parts shipments for local assembly in markets such as Indonesia and India.

Operating income in Japan was up 59.9% to JPY75.9bn (USD643m), due primarily to positive currency effects. In North America, revenue increased 24.5% to JPY1,478.9bn and operating income increased by 30.6% to JPY106.7bn.

In Europe, revenue increased 11.4% to JPY271.6bn but operating income fell a whopping 48.5% to JPY2.8bn, due mainly to the negative impact of the changes in the model mix and expenses including start-up costs for redesigned Civic production in the UK.

In Asia, revenue increased 21.1% to JPY248.7bn and operating income rose 5.9% to JPY17.2bn.

In other regions, revenue rose 28.4% and operating income increased 79.4% to JPY16.6bn.

Consolidated net income for the fiscal nine months fell 3.7% to JPY377.5bn on revenue up 12.3% to JPY7,074.2bn.

Consolidated operating income rose 7.6% to JPY528.0bn.

For fiscal 2005/6 Honda is forecasting revenue up 12.6% to 9,740bn, operating income up 36.3% to JPY860bn and a 24.4% boost in net income to JPY605bn.