Toyota's quarterly profit triples - driven by recovery from disaster


Toyota's quarterly profit tripled, driven by a recovery from natural disasters, and the company raised its full-year earnings forecast despite a sales slump in China.

On Monday, the firm reported a July-September net profit of 257.9 billion yen (£1.99 billion) compared with an 80.4 billion yen (£623 million) profit a year earlier.

Japan's top carmaker raised its profit forecast for the full fiscal year through March 2013 to 780 billion yen (£6.1 billion) from 760 billion yen (£5.9 billion).

It had a profit of 283.5 billion yen (£2.1 billion) profit in the previous fiscal year, when Toyota production was hammered by the disasters in north-eastern Japan and Thailand.

The company's optimism comes despite a sale plunge in China, where a territorial dispute has set off protests and a boycott of Japanese cars.

Quarterly sales improved 18% to 5.4 trillion yen (£42.1 billion), as the demand for Toyota vehicles picked up across all major regions, including North America, Europe, Japan and Asian nations other than China.

Executive vice president Satoshi Ozawa said Toyota had recovered from last year's disaster-related supply shortages and was able to boost profits despite the disadvantage of a strong yen. A strong yen erodes the value of overseas earnings of Japanese exporters such as Toyota.

"We have revised the forecast we announced at the end of the first quarter to reflect the progress we have been making," Mr Ozawa said.

For the fiscal second quarter, Toyota sold 2.2 million vehicles around the world, up from 1.8 million the same period the previous year.

It now expects to sell 8.75 million vehicles for the full fiscal year through to March 31, 2013, up by more than a million vehicles compared to the 7.35 million vehicles sold the previous fiscal year.

But the latest projection is 50,000 vehicles fewer than the 8.8 million vehicles Toyota projected in August.

Although Toyota lost 20 billion yen (£155 million) in operating profit from an unfavourable exchange rate, it gained 160 billion yen (£1.2 billion) through cost-reduction efforts during the latest quarter, it said.