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TOKYO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co on Friday lifted its annual net profit forecast for the second time in as many quarters due to cost-cutting and the impact of a weakening yen, while sales in China remained strong.
Japan's third-largest automaker said it expected profit for the year through March at 545.0 billion yen ($4.82 billion), up from a previously upgraded guidance issued in November, and 58.2 percent higher than the 344.5 billion yen booked in 2015/16.
It also raised its forecast for operating profit to 785.0 billion yen after it posted 207.6 billion yen for October-December - up 27.4 percent from a year prior and exceeding a mean forecast of 157.07 billion yen from 11 analysts polled by Reuters I/B/E/S/.
Analysts expect the automaker to post full-year operating profit of 753.27 billion yen and net profit of 533.44 billion yen.
The automaker forecasts the local currency to average 107 yen to the U.S. dollar through March, compared with an earlier forecast of 103 yen. ($1 = 113.0600 yen) (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Christopher Cushing)