(MENAFN - AFP) Japanese small-car maker Suzuki said on Friday stronger domestic sales helped lift net profit by nearly a third in the six months to September, offsetting a strong yen and unrest at an Indian plant.
The compact car and motorcycle maker's first-half earnings rose 31 percent from a year earlier to 41.90 billion yen (527 million) on slightly higher sales of 1.23 trillion yen.
A recovery in domestic demand and production after last year's quake-tsunami disaster helped negate a decline in overseas sales as the European market remained weak, it said.
Stronger demand at home, stoked partly by now-expired government eco-car subsidies, also helped buffer against the strong yen, which makes Japanese exports less competitive overseas.
The firm left unchanged its forecast for a 70 billion yen net profit on sales of 2.6 trillion yen in the fiscal year to March.
On Tuesday, Suzuki said it would shut down its money-losing car business in the United States as it continues to focus on emerging markets.
A major profit driver for the Japanese firm is Maruti Suzuki, India's biggest carmaker, which is trying to recover from its worst-ever labour unrest in July, in which a manager died and nearly 100 other executives were hurt at one of its main plants.
The lockout ended in late August and Maruti reached a new contract deal with its workforce, awarding them a hefty pay rise and seeking to improve conditions.