TOKYO -- Booming North America powered Honda Motor Co. back into the black in the latest quarter, reversing a loss from a year earlier when results were broadsided by recall costs.
But even as North America re-emerged as Honda's profit engine, executives said rising incentives there remain a risk, and that Honda is working to increase its supply of crossovers.
Regional operating profit in North America nearly quadrupled to ¥105.5 billion ($948.2 million) in the company's fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, Honda said last week while announcing its full fiscal year financial results.
Those robust results helped deliver a global operating profit of $1.24 billion for the quarter, reversing an operating loss of $573.4 million a year earlier.
Net income also swung into positive territory, reaching $861.9 million in the three months. A year earlier, Honda slumped to a net loss of $111.26 million as it paid for recalls of Takata airbag inflators and was hit by foreign exchange losses.
But with those expenses now behind it, Honda's earnings rebounded to normal levels.
In the fiscal fourth quarter, revenue advanced 2.9 percent to $223.26 billion, and global retail sales increased 4.6 percent to 1.3 million vehicles.
Announcing financial results, Executive Vice President Seiji Kuraishi said Honda's U.S. business is getting a boost from last year's rollout of the redesigned Ridgeline pickup and CR-V crossover. But inventories are rising on the Accord, and Honda is dialing down output of the sedan, he said.