* Raises April-Sept. operating profit forecast by 34 pct
* Subaru selling well in U.S. without cashback rebates
* China sales plunge in September
* Firm to announce Q2 earnings on Oct. 30
TOKYO, Oct 23 Japanese automaker Fuji Heavy
Industries Ltd raised its forecast operating profit for
the six months to September by 34 percent, as higher prices for
its Subaru brand cars in the United States more than offset
lower sales in China.
Subaru sales rose 27 percent between April and September in
North America, which accounts for half of its global sales,
slightly ahead of the firm's own forecast.
The U.S. sales gains came despite very low discounting on
Subaru cars and SUVs. Unlike its larger rivals Toyota motor
and Nissan Motor, Subaru has taken advantage
of recovering U.S. demand without offering cashback rebates on
models like the Forester and Outback.
Fuji Heavy said in a statement it now expected a first-half
operating profit of 43 billion yen ($539 million), up from a
previous forecast of 32 billion yen.
The firm saw sales fall 64 percent in September in China,
following a territorial row that sparked anti-Japan protests and
boycotts of Japanese goods. China accounts for about 7 percent
of total sales.
The automaker, which said overall vehicle sales for the half
were below its forecast, is set to announce further details when
it releases its second-quarter earnings on Oct. 30.
Shares in Fuji Heavy rose 4.2 percent in a slightly firmer
$1 = 79.8200 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Richard Pullin)