Toyota Motor sails to net profit record

Exports and weak yen help auto giant log 554 billion yen in fiscal first half

Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday its group net profit jumped 90.2 percent to a record of 553.8 billion yen for the half-year period to September, thanks to brisk overseas sales, cost cuts and a weaker yen.

For the first half of fiscal 2002, Japan’s largest carmaker posted 730.83 billion yen in consolidated operating profit, up 44.3 percent from the same period last year, and 794.03 billion yen in consolidated pretax profit, up 50.8 percent.

Group sales jumped 15.4 percent to a record 7.89 trillion yen, with car sales of 3.02 million units, up 12.1 percent on a year-on-year basis. The figures include sales by Daihatsu Motor Co. and truck maker Hino Motors Ltd.

Although the volume of the group’s car sales rose 16.8 percent in the U.S. to 1 million units and 8 percent in Europe to 392,027 units, domestic sales fell 4.9 percent to 1.02 million units.

On a parent-only basis, Toyota reported an operating profit of 471.34 billion yen, up 33.1 percent from the same period in 2001, and a pretax profit of 481.75 billion yen, up 38.8 percent. Net profit leaped 87.7 percent to 382.22 billion yen.

Although Toyota’s unconsolidated sales volume fell 5.9 percent in Japan to 800,000 units, revenue rose 4.8 percent to 4.2 trillion yen, due to increased exports, company officials said.

For the full business year, the parent company projects sales of 8.6 trillion yen, an operating profit of 820 billion yen, a pretax profit of 820 billion yen, and a net profit of 590 billion yen.

The company did not disclose its consolidated earnings forecasts, but Executive Vice President Ryuji Araki said it hopes to sell more than 6 million units globally for fiscal 2002.