Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan’s top minivehicle maker, reported robust quarterly operating profit on Monday, showing it is on track to achieve full-year forecasts, Reuters said.


Group operating profit for the April-June quarter was 24.58 billion yen ($US204.8 million) though Suzuki did not provide comparisons for the same period last year, as it was reporting quarterly figures for the first time, Reuters noted, adding that the figure was well over half the 37.85 billion yen made in April-September 2002, the first half of last business year.


Armed with new models and a strong brand, Suzuki has managed to boost its minicar sales in Japan by 0.5% in the calendar year to date, even as overall demand fell 3.4% due to the popularity of the slightly bigger subcompact cars, Reuters said.


But, Reuters noted, Suzuki’s overall sales could suffer nonetheless, because it also builds the 660cc cars for Mazda and Nissan whose minivehicle sales are down more than 3% so far this year.


Reuters said Suzuki expects operating profit to rise 15% this business year to 85 billion yen, largely due to the full consolidation of its Indonesian unit, Indomobile Suzuki.


Net profit for the latest quarter was 12.60 billion yen, already more than the 10.19 billion yen in made in the first half of last business year, Reuters added.