Honda Motor Co. reported that profit jumped 20% in its first fiscal quarter compared with the year-earlier period, thanks to overseas sales and a favorable exchange rate.
Honda's net earnings for the three months ended June 30 rose to $903 million. Sales rose 10% to $16 billion. Overseas sales soared 16%, while sales in Japan edged down 7%.
Honda, based in Tokyo, sold 367,000 vehicles in North America during the quarter, up 12% from 328,000 vehicles. Worldwide, Honda sold 694,000 vehicles, up nearly 9% from a year earlier.
Honda was upbeat about sales prospects in both the United States and Japan, but its European business is not expected to turn profitable until fiscal 2003.
Shares of Honda rose 89 cents to $21.79 on the NYSE.