Suzuki Motor Corp (SZKMY) accelerated its full-year profit outlook Friday as robust sales in India offset Japanese yen strength and helped it overtake its larger domestic rivals.
The Shizuoka, Japan-based automaker raised its full-year operating profit by 11.1% to ¥200 billion ($1.9 billion), despite keeping its sales outlook intact at ¥3.1 trillion. The company also raised its profit estimate at the recurring and net levels by 14% and 56%, respectively.
The maker of the Swift and Vitara models attributed the upgrade to strong sales in India, where subsidiary Maruti Suzuki India dominates about half of the Indian passenger car market. Suzuki also pointed to Europe as a source of strength. These were more than enough to offset the impact of yen appreciation, which has caused headaches to many Japanese exporters so far this year, as well as weaknesses elsewhere such as Indonesia and Pakistan.
Gains from the sales of its investment securities are contributing to the jump in net profit, the carmaker said.
For the six months through September 30, Suzuki saw operating profit advance 14.3% to ¥115.5 billion despite a 3.6% drop in sales to ¥1.5 trillion. The automaker also reported increases of 8.7% and 26.4% at the operating and net levels.
The automaker's geographical footprint differs from many other of its Japanese rivals. In the second quarter, the company generated 43% of its sales in Asia outside of Japan, 42% in Japan, and 11% in Europe. Its presence in the U.S. is less than 5%.
Since April 1, the start of Suzuki's fiscal year, the yen has appreciated 8% against the dollar, 10% against the euro, and 9% against the Indian rupee. The company revised its forex assumption to ¥104 from ¥105 against the dollar, to ¥116 from ¥120 against the euro, and to ¥1.58 from ¥1.6 against the Indian rupee.
Suzuki's shares, however, have risen nearly 18.7% over that same time period, which marks the traditional start of Japan's corporate year. This compares to losses of 4.27% for Toyota and 2.8% for Nissan.