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Earnings Roundup

Toyota posts profit, cuts loss forecast

November 06, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Toyota Motor Corp. reported a surprise profit Thursday and cut its projected red ink for the year by half, adding to growing evidence that carmakers are starting to recover from the deepest industry downturn in years.

Although far from a full-fledged turnaround, Toyota's results showed the healing effects of government stimulus measures to spur sales of environmentally friendly cars and other vehicles, as well as soaring demand in emerging markets like China.

Rivals Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. have also issued healthier reports and outlooks recently.

For the July-to-September quarter, Toyota, the world's largest car company, posted better-than-expected net income of 21.8 billion yen ($242 million) after three straight losing quarters, defying some expectations of another loss.

That marked an 84% tumble from the 139.8 billion yen the company earned in the same quarter a year ago but was still one of the clearest signs yet Toyota was rebounding from its biggest loss ever during the last fiscal year.

With sales proving better than expected the last six months, Toyota upped its sales forecasts for the fiscal year through March 2010 to 7.03 million vehicles from 6.6 million.

It also expected a smaller loss for the fiscal year of 200 billion yen ($2.2 billion) -- less than half the 450-billion-yen ($5-billion) loss it predicted earlier.

The revised vehicle forecast was still a 7% drop from the more than 7.5 million vehicles Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid and the Corolla subcompact, sold around the world in the last fiscal year.

Still, sales were growing in Asia compared with a year earlier.

For the latest quarter, the company recorded 4.542 trillion yen ($50 billion) in sales, down 24% from the same period a year earlier.

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