• The Associated Press


Toyota Motor Corp. reported a 39 percent slide in quarterly profit but raised its full-year forecasts for earnings and car sales amid booming business in Asia and other emerging markets.

The results show a mixed picture for the world’s biggest automaker, which is enjoying good sales in high-growth markets in Asia, Africa and South America while facing lingering worries about quality lapses in the key U.S. market.

Toyota reported Tuesday a net profit of ¥93.63 billion for the third quarter, down from ¥153 billion a year earlier. Quarterly sales declined 11.7 percent to ¥4.673 trillion.

The drop was largely due to damage from the strong yen, which erodes the value of Japanese exports, and the end of government-backed incentives for green cars in Japan, according to Toyota.

The maker of the Lexus luxury model, Camry sedan and the Prius hybrid now expects to sell 7.48 million vehicles around the world in the year ending March 31, up from the previous forecast for 7.1 million vehicles.

Toyota raised its annual net profit forecast to ¥490 billion from ¥350 billion.

The new projection is more than double Toyota’s annual profit the previous year.

Senior Managing Director Takehiko Ijichi shrugged off the threat from a strong yen, saying that solid demand from emerging markets is growing into “one of the pillars supporting our earnings.”

The one area where Toyota has been stumbling is the U.S., where it has been losing market share because of worries about the quality of its cars after the massive series of recalls that began in 2009.

The recalls, which have ballooned to more than 12 million vehicles around the world, include sticky gas pedals, faulty floor mats, braking software glitches and other defects.

Ijichi acknowledged that Toyota has not fully put the recall mess behind it, but it is going in the right direction because of efforts to be quicker and more responsive over the past year and a half.

“We think that the wound is now half-healed,” he told reporters at Toyota’s Tokyo office.

“It is going to be a gradual effort, but we are starting to regain the trust of our customers. We are only halfway there.”

An investigation into the runaway cars in the U.S. by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NASA was set to be released later in the day. Toyota officials said they were also awaiting the report and declined comment.

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