July 31 2008.

Suzuki announced yesterday that its net profit rose 6.9% in the first quarter ended June as solid sales of its small vehicles in Europe and Asia amid high gasoline prices helped offset higher material costs and the stronger yen.

The Japanese auto maker, which specializes in compact cars and sports-utility vehicles, posted a net profit of Y26.03 billion in the three months ended June 30, up from Y24.36 billion a year earlier.

Its sales grew 1.8% to Y910.41 billion in the quarter from Y894.53 billion.

But operating profit fell 16.5% to Y33.80 billion from Y40.49 billion on the yen's appreciation and heavier material costs. Improvement in interest payments and income helped list the bottom line.

For this fiscal year to March, the company, which is the world's third-biggest motorcycle maker by volume after Honda and Yamaha kept unchanged its net profit outlook of Y80 billion and sales projection of Y3.500 trillion.

The company's earnings are based on Japanese accounting standards.

Scource: Nikkeinet.