Suzuki expects profit increase

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Suzukilogo REUTERS The Suzuki Motor logo is displayed on top of a Suzuki Motor showroom in Tokyo.

Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp said Thursday that its net profit for the current financial year was expected to jump 11 per cent to 50 billion yen (621 million dollars) as the carmaker focuses on emerging markets, such as India and China.

Suzuki said its operating profit for the year that ends March 30 would climb 2.9 per cent to 110 billion yen while sales revenues would be 2.6 trillion yen, little changed from the previous year.

Suzuki expected its global production of four-wheel vehicles to decline in the first half of the financial year in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which closes factories and disrupted supply chains.

The carmaker, however, said it planned to boost full-year production by increasing output in the latter half of the year. Such an increase would result in a 5.6-per-cent increase in global production for the year to 3.04 million units, it said.

President Osamu Suzuki said the carmaker, one-fifth owned by Germany's Volkswagen AG, would need to decentralize its production to reduce risks posed by natural or nuclear disasters, the Kyodo News agency reported.

Suzuki is based in Hamamatsu in central Japan, and most of its domestic production facilities are near the headquarters.

The carmaker is located about 40 kilometres west of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant, which is situated near a geological fault line. The plant has been suspended since Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan called for the shutdown in early May in the wake of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station caused by the March disaster.

Shares in Suzuki rose 3.11 per cent Thursday in Tokyo. - Sapa-dpa

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