Thu, Nov 07, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Toyota says its half-year profit grew by 82.5%

AFP, TOKYO

Toyota said yesterday that its half-year net profit soared 82.5 percent while it raised its annual earnings forecast as a weak yen and improving sales in North America boosted its bottom line.

The world’s biggest carmaker said it earned ¥1 trillion (US$10.14 billion) on revenue of ¥12.53 trillion, up 14.9 percent year-on-year.

The maker of the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid also raised its fiscal year to March profit forecast to ¥1.67 trillion, up from ¥1.48 trillion previously.

Toyota has ramped up its bid to tap emerging markets while key US demand has also been on the upswing, helping the firm book ever-increasing profits.

The automaker tripled its net profit in the past fiscal year with a slump in the yen helping Japanese manufacturers’ bottom line by making them more competitive overseas and inflating repatriated foreign earnings.

Toyota acknowledged that cost cuts and the weaker currency helped boost its profit as global unit sales slipped about 1 percent to 4.46 million units.

“In addition to the impact of the weaker yen, operating income increased due to our efforts with our suppliers and distributors for profit improvement through cost reduction and marketing activities, such as enhancement of the model mix,” Toyota vice president Nobuyori Kodaira said in a statement.

The company added that it still expects to sell 9.1 million vehicles in the year to March next year.

Toyota was the last of Japan’s major automakers to report its financial results in the latest earnings season.

Honda earlier said net profit soared nearly 47 percent in the three months to September as Japan’s third-largest carmaker also benefited from a weaker yen and stronger North American sales — while smaller rivals Suzuki and Mitsubishi Motors also reported upbeat results.

However, Nissan shares plunged more than 10 percent on Tuesday after the Japan’s No. 2 carmaker slashed its full-year profit forecast, blaming a sluggish European market and expensive product recalls.

Nissan said sales to China, which accounts for about one-quarter of its sales, also fell in the wake of a Tokyo-Beijing territorial spat, which sparked a damaging consumer boycott of Japanese brands in the world’s biggest vehicle market. Toyota did not specifically address China in its statement yesterday.

Toyota shares closed 0.47 percent higher to ¥6,350 in Tokyo yesterday before its results were released.

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