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Sat, Aug 04, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Japan's Toyota announces record first quarter profits

AFP, TOKYO

Japan's Toyota Motor Corp said yesterday fast-growing sales of fuel efficient vehicles and a weaker yen lifted its profits up 32 percent to a record high in the fiscal first quarter.

But Toyota, which is battling US rival General Motors for the title of the world's top selling automaker, maintained its cautious outlook for the full-year, predicting roughly stable earnings.

Net earnings came to ?91.54 billion (US$4.12 billion) in the three months to June, up 32.3 percent from a year earlier, a company statement said.

Operating profit jumped 31.8 percent to ?75.43 billion as revenue increased by 15.7 percent to ?.52 trillion.

"We posted substantial increases in both revenues and profits, our highest ever quarterly results," Toyota senior managing director Takeshi Suzuki said in the statement. "Operating income showed a steep increase ... due to improved marketing efforts, including higher sales volume and improvement in the product mix, and cost reduction efforts which offset higher raw material costs."

The weak yen gave the automaker a significant boost, adding ?00 billion to its operating profits, it said.

Toyota kept its forecast for net profit to rise 0.4 percent to ?.65 trillion in the full fiscal year to March as revenue grows 4.4 percent to ?5 trillion -- an outlook analysts believe will prove overly cautious.

Toyota has been enjoying strong sales as sky-high prices at the pump boost demand for compact cars.

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