Yamaha Motor, the world’s second-largest motorcycle maker, said on Thursday that its quarterly earnings were ahead of target because demand surged in Asia and the US market was firmer than expected, Reuters reported.

According to the news agency, group revenue for the April-June first quarter climbed 3.3% from a year earlier to 257 billion yen ($US2.14 billion) and, with motorbike sales more than doubling in countries like Vietnam and Thailand and models like its 600cc YZF-R6 sports bike well received in the United States, Yamaha said net profit zoomed to 8.7 billion yen, 24% ahead of its target.

Despite the upbeat results that counter earlier pessimism about faltering demand in North America, Yamaha stuck with its forecast of no profit growth this business year.

“The first quarter was stronger than we expected but not strong enough to make us change our full-year estimates at this point,” Hiroshi Tanaka, executive officer for finance, told Reuters, adding: “We can at least say, however, that we don’t expect to be revising down.”

In May, the company estimated its full-year operating profit would be 68 billion yen compared with the previous year’s 67.7 billion, Reuters noted.

The news agency said that, for the first quarter, Yamaha motorcycle sales jumped 18% to 605,000 units with sales in Asia rocketing 31% higher and North American sales climbing 27%.

But the Japanese market was weak, Reuters noted, as sales slid 16%, with Yamaha declining to compete in the 50cc scooter market after rivals Honda and Suzuki slashed prices on new models.

According to Reuters, Tanaka also said Yamaha was on track with planned costs cuts, largely to be gained in procurement costs and operating its plants more efficiently – it cut costs by around 2.4 billion yen in the quarter, which compares with its full-year target of 17 billion yen.