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Honda earnings surge 38% as higher vehicle sales offset currency hi

TOKYO – Honda Motor Co.'s operating profit surged 38 percent in the latest quarter as rising sales, a pension plan adjustment and cost cutting offset foreign exchange losses, prompting the automaker to lift its earnings outlooks for the current fiscal year.

Operating profit increased to 228.08 billion yen ($2.25 billion) in the Japanese carmaker’s fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30, from 164.84 billion yen ($1.63 billion) a year earlier.  Net income climbed 39 percent to 177.10 billion yen ($1.75 billion) in the three months, Executive Vice President Seiji Kuraishi said while announcing financial results Oct. 30. Revenue slid 9.9 percent to 3.26 trillion yen ($32.18 billion), even as global retail sales rose 6.3 percent to 2.43 million vehicles in the fiscal second quarter. Honda’s operating profit was buoyed by stepped-up cost cutting efforts that added 55.3 billion yen ($545.96 million) to the bottom line in the three months.