Hurt by the high appreciation of the yen, Toyota Motor Corp. suffered declines in pretax and operating profits for the first half of fiscal 1999, according to its midterm earning report released Thursday.

On a consolidated basis, the country’s largest automaker posted 404.5 billion yen in pretax profit during the April-September period, down 1 percent from the same period last year, on sales of 6.23 trillion yen, up 0.6 percent.

Its consolidated operating profit dropped by 40.6 billion yen, or 10.1 percent, from the previous year to 362.6 billion yen, while net profit grew 4.7 percent to 201.7 billion yen.

The Toyota group sold about 2.5 million units worldwide, 374,114 more than in the same period last year. The figure includes sales by minivehicle manufacturer Daihatsu Motor Co. from its consolidated earnings report released in September last year.

Toyota enjoyed favorable sales in North America and Europe, though domestic sales remained stagnant, said Executive Vice President Tadaaki Jagawa.

Overseas sales accounted for 58.9 percent of Toyota’s consolidated sales in terms of value, while overseas production occupied 23.2 percent of the total production.

On an unconsolidated basis, pretax profit slipped 0.1 percent from the same period last year to 288.3 billion yen while sales declined 5.1 percent to 3.57 trillion yen.

Operating profit dropped 16.7 percent from the previous year to 239 billion yen, though net profit grew 17.4 percent to 173.6 billion yen

Although domestic car sales excluding minicars declined to 793,399 units, Toyota raised its domestic market share to 41.2 percent, due to the favorable sales of its Vitz compact car, the automaker said.

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