As sales climbed in its main Indian market, Suzuki Motor Corp. was able to triple its quarterly operating profit. Suzuki, which is 19.9% owned by Volkswagen AG and is Japan's fourth-biggest carmaker, raised its annual forecasts closer to market expectations.
The global shift in consumer preference toward minicars and subcompacts has benefited Suzuki and Hyundai Motor Co.
The shift to small cars is partly due to government incentives on purchases of environment-friendly cars. Subsidiary Maruti Suzuki, India's top carmaker, said in January that its third-quarter net profit had more than tripled.
Suzuki, which holds 54.2% in Maruti, considers India as its single-biggest market. VW took its stake in Suzuki in December 2009. For October-December, Suzuki reported a 17.99 billion yen ($201 million) operating profit, compared with a 5.78 billion yen profit a year earlier.
This result actually falls short of the average estimate of 19.40 billion yen from two analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/.
Suzuki, known for its Swift and Alto hatchbacks, raised its operating profit outlook for the year ending in March from 40 billion yen to 50 billion yen. Consensus forecasts from 14 analysts put Suzuki's operating profit for the year at 65.91 billion yen.