Increased sales of top models is expected to boost profits at Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru vehicles, by about 34%.

Although global sales for the first half of the financial year ending 31 March were below the 356,000 units forecast, the company is now forecasting a group net profit of JPY40bn (US$500m) on sales of JPY898bn. 

Global sales were boosted by a strong performance in the US where volume rose 27% between April and September, ahead of the company's own forecast. The US accounts for half of Subaru global sales - its numerous 4WD models are especially popular in eastern 'snowbelt' states.