Honda Motor forecasts 3.6 pct net profit rise this FY, below estimates

TOKYO, April 25 Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:20am EDT

TOKYO, April 25 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co on Friday forecast a 3.6 percent rise in net profit for the year to next March, below analyst estimates, saying it expects strong sales of the remodelled Fit compact car globally including in the United States.

Honda said it expects to post 595 billion yen ($5.8 billion) in net profit this business year, compared with the 700 billion yen mean estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For the latest quarter to end-March, Japan's third-biggest automaker more than doubled net profit to 170.5 billion yen, boosted by a decline in the value of the yen and strong sales in China and Japan.

Shares of Honda closed 1.0 percent higher ahead of the result, compared with a 0.2 percent gain in the benchmark index .

($1 = 102.2350 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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