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Toyota quarterly profit rises on growing sales, cost cuts

/ 07:44 PM November 06, 2018
Toyota logo closeup on car

In this photo, taken Nov. 13, 2017, visitors take a look at Toyota cars at the automaker’s showroom in Tokyo. (Photo by KOJI SASAHARA / AP)

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. reported a 28 percent surge in its net profit in the last quarter, helped by growing sales in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and raised its earnings forecast for the full year.

The top Japanese automaker said Tuesday that its July-September profit totaled 585.1 billion yen ($5.2 billion), up from 458.3 billion yen the year before. Quarterly sales rose 2 percent to 7.31 trillion yen ($64.7 billion).

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The manufacturer of the Camry sedan, Prius hybrid and Corolla subcompact forecast a 2.3 trillion yen ($20 billion) profit for the fiscal year through March. That exceeds its earlier forecast for 2.1 trillion yen ($19 billion), but is down nearly 8 percent from a nearly 2.5 trillion yen net profit in the previous fiscal year.

Toyota sold 2.183 million vehicles in July-September, up from 2.175 million vehicles the same period a year earlier.

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Vehicle sales slipped in the U.S. and Japan but improved in Europe, the rest of Asia and Central and South America. The company stuck to its full-year forecast for selling 8.9 million vehicles globally for the year through March 2019.

Cost reductions and marketing efforts helped the results for the latest quarter though an unfavorable exchange rate hurt, according to Toyota.

“We are steadily making progress toward achieving our challenge-level target,” Senior Managing Masayoshi Shirayanagi said in a statement of cost cutting efforts.

Toyota is often seen as an icon of Japanese-style manufacturing. It has been shifting its focus to leading technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, car-sharing services and other new applications to keep up with changes in the industry.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda, a member of the company’s founding family, has repeatedly said Toyota’s business needs to change from merely making various vehicles to addressing all kinds of mobility needs.

For the fiscal first half, Toyota’s sales rose to a record 14.67 trillion yen ($130 billion), up 3 percent from the previous year.

Toyota’s sales projection for the year through March at 29.5 trillion yen ($261 billion), if realized, will also mark a record for the company.

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Toyota’s stock price jumped after the upbeat results were released, closed 2.1 percent higher. /atm

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