Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru, raised its forecast operating profit for the six months to September by 34 percent.
The move is justified by higher prices for its Subaru brand cars in the United States, which more than offset lower sales in China.
Subaru sales rose 27 percent between April and September in North America, slightly ahead of the company’s own forecast. North American markets account for half of Subaru’s global sales. The brand’s sales gains in the U.S. came despite very low discounting on Subaru cars and SUVs.
Unlike its larger rivals Toyota and Nissan, Subaru has taken advantage of recovering U.S. demand without offering cashback rebates on models like the Forester and Outback. Following strong sales in the U.S., Fuji Heavy said in a statement it now expected an operating profit of 43 billion yen ($539 million) in the first half of this year, up from a previous forecast of 32 billion yen. Shares in Fuji Heavy Industries rose 4.2 percent following the announcement.
Subaru sales fell 64 percent in September in China, because of anti-Japan protests and boycotts of Japanese goods sparked by a territorial row. China accounts for about 7 percent of Subaru’s total sales.