Suzuki posted a 5.5% increase in third quarter operating profit, according to Reuters which noted that the automaker, 20% owned by General Motors, attributed the rise to strong global sales.

Reuters calculated that operating profit was JPY28.98bn for the October-December 2005 period.

The company also reiterated that it expects to report a slight improvement in full-year earnings, with an operating profit of JPY108 bn. This would be up 0.4% year on year and mark the sixth consecutive year of increased profits.

Analysts told Reuters that Suzuki could exceed its own expectations and achieve an operating profit of JPY115bn yen.

Q3 net profit rose 5.0% to JPY16.96bn on revenue of JPY679.52bn yen, up 17.9%.