Toyota boosts profits outlook thanks to US sales and weak yen

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The Independent Online

The world's biggest-selling car maker Toyota has kicked its profit forecast up a gear on the back of strong sales in the United States and the weak yen.

The company posted a net profit of ¥99.9bn (£685m) for the three months to 31 December, up 23 per cent from the same period year ago when natural disasters disrupted its supply chain, and raised its profit forecast by more than 10 per cent to ¥860bn.

The Japanese auto giant also raised sales forecasts for 2013 from 8.75 million to 8.85 million vehicles, putting the rises down to demand in the US. Models like the Camry sedan proved popular in North America, the company's biggest market, and Toyota said it sold 1.668 million vehicles there in the nine months to 31 December, an increase of more than 300,000 from the same period the previous year.

Strong demand from overseas has also been helped by the weak yen, which allows Toyota to maximise profits.

Senior managing officer Takahiko Ijichi said the raised forecasts were a sign Toyota was "finally on the road to sustainable growth".

Last month, the Toyota Group reclaimed the title of world's biggest-selling car manufacturer from General Motors.