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Japan s Suzuki sees net profit nearly triple

TOKYO, Feb 7, 2011 – Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor on Monday said its net profit nearly tripled in the April-December period as healthy sales in Asia offset the strength of the yen.

The Japanese car maker, which is allied with Germany\’s Volkswagen AG, posted a net profit of 42.6 billion yen ($518 million) in the nine-month period from 15.49 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Sales rose 8.4 percent to 1.92 trillion yen from 1.78 trillion, helped by demand in India where Suzuki has about a 50 percent share of the auto market through its Maruti Suzuki subsidiary.

Operating profit nearly doubled, rising 86 percent to 92.46 billion yen.

However, for the fiscal year ending March, Suzuki kept its net profit forecast at 35 billion yen and its operating profit forecast at 100 billion yen on sales of 2.5 trillion yen.

The yen has risen sharply since summer 2010, making life difficult for the nation\’s exports who see their goods become relatively more expensive while eroding repatriated profits.

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