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Toyota reported a Y290.3bn ($3.7bn) net profit for the first quarter, its best performance in four years, as sales rebounded from the slump that followed Japan’s earthquake in March last year.
The carmaker left its full-year forecasts unchanged. It expects net profit for the 12 months to March 2013 to rise two-and-a-half times to Y760bn, which would be the highest level in five years.
The earthquake, coupled with flooding in Thailand a few months later, curtailed supplies of crucial auto parts and reduced Toyota’s annual output by 400,000 vehicles last year, a decline that cost the company its position as the world’s largest carmaker.
Toyota has benefited from a rise in demand for cars in the US and Japan, although it continues to struggle with a sustained upswing in the yen’s exchange rate – a big influence on the earnings of export-dependent Japanese companies.
In the US, its biggest market, Toyota reported a 26 per cent rise in vehicle sales in July, to 164,898, even as US rivals struggled.
More to follow…