TOKYO Feb 5 Toyota Motor Corp raised
its annual net profit forecast by more than 10 percent to 860
billion yen ($9.3 billion) on strong sales of the Camry sedan
and other vehicles in its biggest market the United States, as
well as the yen's drop.
The world's biggest-selling carmaker posted a net profit of
99.9 billion yen for the three months to Dec. 31, up 23.5
percent from a year ago when it struggled after natural
disasters disrupted its supply chain.
Its third-quarter profit figure was below the average
estimate of 143.7 billion yen among seven analysts polled by
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Among Japan's big three automakers Toyota, Nissan Motor Co
and Honda Motor Co, analysts see top seller
Toyota as the most likely to benefit from a weakening yen
because it has the highest ratio of production in Japan, more
than half of which it exports.
The yen is trading at around 92 to the dollar, compared with
78 at the start of October. The weaker the Japanese currency,
the more money exporters make when they convert overseas profits
back into yen.
In 2013, Toyota expects to sell 8.9 million vehicles
globally. Across the group, which includes Daihatsu Motor Co
and Hino Motors Ltd, it forecasts shipping
9.91 million vehicles.
Last year, the 75-year-old firm sold a record 8.72 million
vehicles around the world. Its group-wide sales were also a
record high of 9.75 million vehicles, beating General Motors
to regain top rank among car manufacturers.
Shares in Toyota have risen nearly 50 percent since
mid-November on hopes the weakening yen will boost its bottom
They closed at 4540 yen on Tuesday before results were
announced, down 1.2 percent on the day.