Business / Corporate

Toyota likely to post record half-year profit

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. is likely to post a record group operating profit in the April-September period, buoyed by brisk overseas sales and effects of the weak yen, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Market participants expect the automaker to post an operating profit of around ¥1.3 trillion, exceeding the current record profit of ¥1.27 trillion booked in the six-month period in 2007. Toyota will report its group earnings results Nov. 5.

Toyota said Monday its unconsolidated global vehicle sales in the April-September period expanded 1.5 percent from a year earlier to 4.55 million units, hitting a record high for the third year in a row for the half-year period.

In the currency market, the dollar remained above ¥101, the average annual value estimated by Toyota, helping to boost the automaker’s profits overseas. The company can expects its operating profit to increase by ¥40 billion whenever the dollar moves up ¥1.

The developments are likely to have offset adverse effects of sluggish domestic sales, which were hit by April’s consumption tax hike, the sources said.

With favorable earnings for the fiscal first half, Toyota is also likely to raise its estimated group operating profit for the full business year, which ends in March.

The automaker currently projects an operating profit of ¥2.3 trillion for the business year, up 0.3 percent from the previous year.

As for Toyota’s unconsolidated vehicle sales for the six-month period, its sales in the United States rose 9 percent to 1.27 million units and those in China were up 6.7 percent to 482,000 units, more than offsetting declines at home and in Southeast Asia.

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