/

Toyota half-year profit soars 82.5% on low yen, high sales

AFP-JIJI

Toyota Motor Corp.’s half-year net profit soared 82.5 percent and it is raising its annual earnings forecast as the weak yen and improving sales in North America boost its bottom line.

The world’s biggest carmaker said Wednesday it earned ¥1 trillion on revenue of ¥12.53 trillion, up 14.9 percent year on year.

The maker of the Camry and Prius also raised its profit forecast for the year to April 1 to ¥1.67 trillion, up from ¥1.48 trillion.

Toyota has ramped up its bid to tap emerging markets while key U.S. demand has been on the upswing, helping the firm book robust profit.

The firm tripled its net profit in the past fiscal year with a slump in the yen helping Japanese manufacturers by making them more competitive abroad and inflating repatriated foreign earnings.

Toyota acknowledged that cost cuts and the weaker currency helped boost its profit as global unit sales slipped about 1 percent to 4.46 million units.

“In addition to the impact of the weaker yen, operating income increased due to our efforts with our suppliers and distributors for profit improvement through cost reduction and marketing activities, such as enhancement of the model mix,” Toyota Vice President Nobuyori Kodaira said.

Despite the troubles in China, Japanese industry has benefited from the big-spending and easy-money policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with huge monetary easing measures from his hand-picked team at the Bank of Japan helping push down the yen.