Wed, Feb 06, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Toyota quadruples profit; lifts profit, sales forecast

AFP, TOKYO and SHANGHAI

Toyota Motor Corp senior managing officer Takahiko Ijichi answers questions during a press briefing to announce the company’s third-quarter financial results in Tokyo yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Toyota said yesterday that its net profit quadrupled for the nine months to December as the Japanese auto giant revised upward its full-year profit and sales forecast.

The company said it earned ¥648.2 billion (US$7 billion) for the period, up from ¥162.5 billion a year earlier, underscoring its recovery from 2011 when automakers were pounded by Japan’s quake-tsunami disaster.

Operating income soared to ¥818.5 billion from ¥117.1 billion a year earlier, which “reflects our increased vehicle sales and the progress we are making with our profit improvement activities,” Toyota senior managing officer Takahiko Ijichi said.

Sales in the period jumped 26 percent to ¥16.2 trillion, it said.

Toyota, Japan’s biggest automaker, also upped its net profit forecast for the fiscal year through March to ¥860 billion from an earlier estimate of ¥780 billion.

Global vehicle sales in the year were on track to hit 8.85 million units, up from an earlier forecast of 8.75 million units, the automaker said, citing stronger overseas demand centred in the North American market.

Toyota also cited a weakening yen for its upgraded forecast.

The figures confirmed that Toyota recaptured the world’s biggest automaker crown from General Motors (GM), a title it lost in 2011.

Separately, GM’s sales in China last month surged 26 percent from a year earlier to 310,765 vehicles, it said yesterday, setting a record for any month.

GM’s previous monthly record was January 2011, when it sold 268,035 vehicles in the country, according to a statement.

The US auto giant’s sales in China — the world’s largest car market — grew 11.3 percent last year from 2011 to a record 2.84 million vehicles, despite the country’s slower economic growth, the company has previously said.

Auto sales in China rose only 4.3 percent year-on-year to 19.31 million vehicles last year. Consultancy McKinsey has forecast growth in China’s auto market will slow to an average 8 percent annually between last year and 2020, but it will remain the world’s top market with sales of 22 million passenger cars in 2020.

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