Both group net profit and sales for the April-September first half of fiscal 2006 hit all-time highs at Suzuki Motor, helped by strong overseas sales of its compact cars and motorcycles.

Suzuki's group net profit rose 27.5% from a year earlier to 39.46bn yen on overall sales of 1.48 trillion yen, up 16.4%. Consolidated operating profit rose 19.3% to 67.83bn yen. Per-share net profit increased to 89.41 yen from the previous fiscal first half's 58.47 yen, according to Kyodo News.

Following the upbeat earnings figures, the company said it has revised its group net profit forecast for the full year to March 31 upward to 72bn yen from 66bn yen on sales of 3 trillion yen, up from 2.8 trillion yen. The estimate on its group pretax profit has been upgraded to 130bn yen from 120bn yen, the report added.

Kyodo said Suzuki's automobile segment sales rose 19.2% to 1.16 trillion yen due to strong demand for the Swift and Grand Vitara overseas, especially in India and Europe, and in Japan for its minicars such as the MR Wagon and the Every.

The segment's operating profit rose 21% to 43.25bn yen, helped by a weaker currency, the report said.