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Suzuki Motors sees plunging profits

autos Updated: Feb 06, 2009 02:36 IST

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Suzuki Motor Corp. reported a sharp drop in earnings on Thursday and warned of tough times ahead as the global economic crisis wreaks havoc in Japan's car industry.

The mini-car specialist logged a 68 percent drop in net profit in the nine months to December to 21.63 billion yen (242 million dollars).

Operating profit fell 43 percent to 66.48 billion yen while revenue slid 9.5 percent to 2.33 trillion yen, hit by sluggish demand and a strong yen.

For the full financial year to March, Suzuki lowered its forecast for net profit to 22 billion yen from an earlier projection of 60 billion yen.

The bleak outlook underscores the rapidly worsening fortunes of carmakers like Suzuki, which last year made a record profit of 80.25 billion yen.

It cut its operating profit target to 67 billion yen from 100 billion yen and its revenue prediction to three trillion yen from 3.2 trillion.

Until recently Suzuki had been relatively resilient to the global economic slowdown, helped by its strong presence in India, one of the world's fastest growing car markets.

Although it has so far managed to stay out of the red, it has not been untouched by the industry turmoil that has put world number one Toyota Motor Corp. on course for its first-ever operating loss.