Japanese automaker Honda on Thursday upgraded its annual profit forecast thanks to a strong dollar and healthy North American demand, while rival Nissan said its net profit almost tripled year-on-year.

Honda now projects an annual net profit of 960 billion yen ($6.45 billion), up 30 billion from the previous forecast.

The decision "reflects further strengthening measures to improve profitability and the positive impacts from currency effects," Honda said.

For nine months to December, Honda's net profit rose by nearly 50 percent to 869.6 billion yen, on sales of 15 trillion yen, up 19.8 percent.

During the three quarters, US sales surged 43 percent while those in Japan rose 8.6 percent.

Going forward, the company said it expects a pick-up in Chinese sales volume to compensate for falls in markets such as Thailand and Indonesia.

Honda's rival Nissan also reported a strong performance in the first three quarters, with net profit almost tripling year-on-year to 325 billion yen.

Nissan's April-December sales jumped 22.3 percent to 9.17 trillion yen, lifted especially by healthy demand in the US.

"This reflects the underlying strength of our business achieved during Nissan Next Plan," said Stephen Ma, the automaker's chief financial officer, referring to the company's business plan.

He said the company was continuing to assess an "uncertain environment", including the financial impacts of a recent major earthquake in Japan and geopolitical conditions in the Red Sea and the broader Middle East.

It kept its annual sales forecasts at 13 trillion yen on a net profit expectation of 390 billion yen.

But Nissan lowered its annual unit sales volume projection from 3.7 million vehicles to 3.55 million, citing "temporary logistics disruption and intensifying competition".

The company was increasing its capacity to move vehicles from Mexico to the US, Ma said.

Ma remained tightlipped when asked to discuss Nissan's plan to invest in Ampere, an electric vehicle division of Renault.

Nissan has committed to invest in the unit, but Renault recently decided to halt its IPO.

"So we will continue to discuss with Renault and to discuss what to do going forward and looking forward to also more collaboration with them," Ma said, without providing details.