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Suzuki Motor logs flat Q3 profit as Japan price competition bites
February 5, 2015 / 7:29 AM / 3 years ago

Suzuki Motor logs flat Q3 profit as Japan price competition bites

TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Suzuki Motor Corp posted a 0.6 percent rise in third-quarter operating profit on Thursday, missing analyst estimates, as price competition at home in Japan offset a jump in income from India.

Suzuki has been battling Daihatsu Motor Co for the top spot in Japan’s minicar segment, where it retook the crown in 2014 for the first time in eight years. The cars, with an engine size of 660cc, are unique to the country where they made up 40 percent of the vehicle market last year.

In October-December, Suzuki posted operating profit of 44.69 billion yen ($381.41 million), short of the 49.04 billion yen average estimate of 11 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The automaker said tough market conditions in Thailand and Indonesia also hurt earnings, erasing the impact of increased profit at Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

Maruti, which sells nearly every other car in India, last week reported an 18 percent rise in net profit.

For the business year through March, Suzuki kept its operating profit forecast at 188 billion yen, compared with the 202.4 billion yen estimate of 22 analysts.

It lowered its net profit outlook by 10 billion yen to 105.0 billion yen, citing the anticipated reduction of deferred tax assets ahead of an expected fall in Japan’s corporate tax rate next year.

Shares of Suzuki closed 1.7 percent lower ahead of the earnings release, compared with a 1.0 percent decline in the benchmark index.

$1 = 117.1700 yen Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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