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Toyota eclipses 2007 profit record

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

Toyota Motor Corp. announced Thursday it posted a record group operating profit of ¥2.29 trillion in fiscal 2013, breaking its previous record of ¥2.27 trillion in fiscal 2007, before the global financial crisis.

Operating profit jumped 73.5 percent from the year before on sales of ¥25.69 trillion, up 16.4 percent, thanks in part to cost-cutting.

“We have secured ¥2.29 trillion in operating profit boosted by increased sales of cars in Japan and North America as well as groupwide efforts for cost improvements,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda told a news conference in Tokyo.

The weakened yen also boosted profit by ¥900 billion, the auto giant said.

Consolidated net profit leaped 89.5 percent to a record of ¥1.82 trillion, but group operating profit came in below the ¥2.4 trillion projected in February, partly due to settlements related to recalls issued in the United States from 2009 to 2010. The automaker set aside $1.2 billion for the settlements.

The firm expects a consolidated operating profit of ¥2.3 trillion, up 0.3 percent, and a group net profit of ¥1.78 trillion, down 2.4 percent, for the business year ending next March.

The automaker expects car sales in Japan to drop off by 155,000 to 2.21 million units in the year due to the impact of the first stage of the consumption tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent on April 1.

Toyota’s sales were growing mainly in North America by the year ended March 2008, but collapsed after the global economic crisis erupted that fall, dragging it into a consolidated operating loss of ¥461 billion the following year.

The company also suffered from a major vehicle recall in the year through March 2010, but returned to a profit of ¥147.5 billion, thanks largely to government subsidies on purchases of environmentally friendly vehicles.

Information from Kyodo added

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