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Toyota Q3 profit jumps 14%

Toyota posted a 14% rise in quarterly profit as sales raced ahead in overseas markets.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 13:54 IST

Toyota Motor Corp, the world's most profitable car maker, posted a 14 per cent rise in quarterly profit as sales raced ahead in overseas markets and a weaker yen boosted the value of earnings from outside Japan.

The results announced on Tuesday were roughly in line with expectations.

Brisk demand for cars such as the Prius hybrid - still in short supply after 2-½ years - and cost-cutting efforts have helped Japan's biggest auto maker absorb a hefty build-up in capital spending on new and expanded manufacturing facilities around the world.

With key new models such as the Camry and Lexus LS sedans to be rolled out in the lucrative U.S. market soon, analysts expect further gains for Toyota as it closes the gap with General Motors Corp. as the world's top seller of cars.

Tough competition from Asian brands has GM's and Ford Motor Co's core automotive operations reeling under losses, forcing America's top two auto makers to call for massive job cuts and plant closures.

Toyota, which the market values at $185 billion - more than DaimlerChrysler AG, Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co combined - had an operating profit of 482.21 billion yen ($4.05 billion) for October-December, narrowly missing a mean estimate of 485 billion yen in a survey of four brokerages by Reuters Estimates.

Net profit surged 34.1 per cent to 397.57 billion yen thanks to a rise in the value of its stake in former UFJ Holdings after the bank's merger to form the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. Revenue grew 14.8 per cent to 5.33 trillion yen.

Toyota does not provide group-based profit forecasts but said three months ago that it expected to beat last year's record even at a now-conservative dollar rate of 110 yen for the year to end-March. The dollar is trading at around 118 yen.

A consensus forecast of 22 brokerages puts Toyota's group operating profit at 1.75 trillion yen for the year, up 4.7 per cent from the last business year.

The company kept its parent-only forecasts unchanged, projecting a net profit of 670 billion yen.

Toyota's domestic rivals, Nissan and Honda, also reported better third-quarter earnings last week, helped by the yen's depreciation against the dollar, euro and other currencies.

Shares in Toyota climbed 18 per cent during the three months to Dec 30, against a 19 per cent rise in the Nikkei average and the transport sector's 12 per cent gain.

Ahead of the results on Tuesday, the stock closed unchanged at 6,120 yen.

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