Toyota quarterly profit quadruples

Wednesday May 09, 2012
Written by The Associated Press
Toyota's quarterly profit more than quadrupled to 121 billion yen ($1.5 billion), and the automaker gave upbeat forecasts as it recovers from a sales plunge caused by the tsunami in Japan last year. Japan's No. 1 automaker forecast Wednesday that profit for its business year ending March 2013 would soar to 760 billion yen ($9.5 billion). Net profit plunged 30 per cent to 283.6 billion yen ($3.5 billion) for the just ended business year.The annual results were better than the company projection for a 200 billion yen ($2.5 billion) profit, as well as the FactSet estimate at 279 billion yen ($3.49 billion). That, along with the jump in profit for the January-March quarter, is a sign of a turnaround from last year's tsunami that hobbled Toyota production around the world.Toyota's profit for January-March the previous year had been dismal at 25.4 billion yen because of the damage from an earthquake and tsunami that hit March 11, 2011. Flooding in Thailand, which disrupted supplies, added to the decline.Toyota President Akio Toyoda acknowledged the hardships, but also pointed to the strong yen, which erodes the overseas earnings of Japanese exporters such as Toyota.“Our vision is to establish a strong business foundation that will ensure profitability under any kind of difficult business environment,” he said.“But thanks to the concerted efforts of our employees, suppliers and dealers, we were able to recover production and sales faster than anticipated and achieved a strong result.”Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, said its vehicle sales grew in Japan, Europe and Africa, but not in North America. However, it is regaining market share there.The automaker expects to sell 8.7 million vehicles this business year, 1.3 million more vehicles than the nearly 7.4 million vehicles sold for the year ended March.

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