TOKYO - Suzuki Motor Corp sharply raised its full-year profit forecast on Thursday, driven by strong sales at home and in India, its biggest market.
The maker of the Baleno compact hatchback and the Vitara Brezza compact SUV dominates the Indian market through its majority stake in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country's largest automaker.
Sales in India, which accounts for roughly half of the carmaker's global vehicle sales, rose 19.4 percent to 457,000 units during its second quarter ended in September.
In Japan, sales increased 6.2 percent to 160,000 units.
Suzuki said it now expects full-year operating profit of 300 billion yen ($2.6 billion), up from the previous forecast of 240 billion yen. It compares with an average estimate of 327.5 billion yen in a poll of 22 analysts
Operating profit at Japan's No. 4 automaker came in at 87.8 billion yen in July-September, up from 56.3 billion yen a year ago and above an average forecast for 78.21 billion yen from 10 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Strong sales of compact vehicles and SUVs bolstered Maruti's operating profit during the second quarter. Last week, the Indian automaker reported an operating profit of 24.8 billion rupees, up slightly on the year and exceeding analyst forecasts.
The automaker owns 56.2 percent of Maruti, and gets the bulk of its revenues from the Indian partnership, which has a market value of around $30 billion, higher than Suzuki's market capitalisation of about $20.5 billion.
It expects the U.S. dollar to trade around 111 yen, and the Indian Rupee to trade around 1.7 yen in the year to March.