Toyota is reporting that its January-to-March profit more than quadrupled to ￥121 billion (US$1.51 billion) from the previous year, capping off a hardship-filled year battered by the tsunami in Japan.
Toyota Motor Corp’s profit for the fiscal year ended March plunged 30.5 percent to ￥283.56 billion, down from ￥408 billion the previous fiscal year, as last year’s tsunami damaged supply chains in northeastern Japan and hobbled Toyota production around the world.
However, in a sign of solid recovery, Japan’s No. 1 automaker forecast yesterday its profit soaring to ￥760 billion for the fiscal year through March next year.
The company pledged a sharp rebound in the current fiscal year, expecting net profit to more than double to ￥760 billion on surging demand in emerging markets.
Toyota also forecast operating profit to nearly triple year-on-year to ￥1.0 trillion as consumers opt for small and economically priced vehicles, as well as “green” models, a key segment for the manufacturer.
“Our vision is to establish a strong business foundation that will ensure profitability under any kind of difficult business environment,” Toyota president Akio Toyoda said in a statement.
“Certainly the last fiscal year was extremely challenging due to the natural disasters in Japan and Thailand, plus the unprecedented strength of the yen,” he said.
The yen, which hit a record high against the US dollar last year, began to weaken early this year, a decline that will help exporters whose products become more expensive overseas when the currency strengthens.
Toyota, which said it sold 7.35 million vehicles in the year to March for total sales of ￥18.58 trillion, down 2.2 percent, lost its No. 1 spot in the global carmakers’ league last year.
The company is expecting to sell 8.7 million vehicles for the fiscal year through March next year.
Toyota had been the world’s biggest automaker since 2008 and sold 8.42 million vehicles in 2010.
However, its figure for last year leaves US giant General Motors, with about 9 million in unit sales, back in top spot after it emerged from bankruptcy, with Germany’s Volkswagen in second place, selling more than 8 million vehicles.