January 29, 2009 / 7:13 PM / 11 years ago

Toyota year loss seen deeper than forecast-Nikkei

DETROIT, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) is likely to post a 400 billion yen ($4.46 billion) operating loss for the year ending in March, a much deeper loss than it projected just a month ago, the Japanese business daily Nikkei said.

The Nikkei did not cite sources for its report, which was published in its Friday morning edition.

A Toyota spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

In December, Toyota had forecast an operating loss of 150 billion yen — its first-ever operating loss - on group-wide sales of 7.54 million vehicles for the current business year.

Toyota made a record profit of 2.27 trillion yen in the past business year.

Sales are also expected to undershoot its previous forecast of 21.5 trillion yen ($239.8 billion), which would have represented an 18 percent fall on the year, according to Nikkei.

Automakers around the world face their toughest business environment in decades, caught by a sharp reversal of demand as credit tightens and consumer confidence wanes.

Like its smaller rivals, Toyota has idled factories, slowed assembly lines and delayed manufacturing projects in key markets like the United States. (Reporting by Soyoung Kim, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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