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UPDATE 1-Japan's Subaru posts higher profit as U.S. car sales jump

* Subaru's Q1 profit 119.3 bln yen, beats analysts' estimate

* Q1 sales in United States up 12.3 percent y/y

* Delivers more vehicles from Indiana plant (Adds quarterly sales figures)

TOKYO, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Subaru Corp on Thursday posted a better-than-expected rise in its quarterly operating profit, buoyed by higher sales in the United States, its biggest market, where other Japanese automakers are struggling with slower demand.

Operating profit at Japan's No.6 automaker came in at 119.3 billion yen ($1.08 billion) in the first quarter ended June, up 17.5 percent from a year ago and exceeding the average forecast for 114.8 billion yen from seven analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Most Japanese automakers have been hit by both an overall slowdown in the U.S. market and a growing preference for bigger car models, versus the sedan.

Subaru has, however, managed to buck this trend, reporting a 12.3 percent jump in sales in the world's No.2 auto market after China, with models such a revamped version of its Impreza sedan, along with the Forester SUV and Outback SUV crossover.

Subaru raised production capacity last year at its plant in Indiana and was able to deliver more units over the quarter in the United States, which accounts for around 60 percent of its global sales volume.

The automaker's U.S. marketing strategy has focused mainly on affluent and liberal-minded consumers, with advertisements featuring slogans such as love and inclusion.

It has won over consumers living largely on the west and east coasts - a concentration that has allowed it to leverage its production capabilities, which are a fraction of those of Toyota Motor Corp and other bigger rivals like Nissan Motor Co.

Toyota is expected to announce a 16 percent drop in its quarterly operating profit, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, while Nissan last week posted an almost 13 percent slide in profit, dragged by rising incentives to sell its cars in the United States. ($1 = 110.7200 yen) (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Himani Sarkar)