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Toyota posts 16 per cent net profit gain, upgrades full-year forecast


TOKYO: Japanese car giant Toyota upgraded its full-year forecast on Tuesday, as the firm posted a 16 per cent gain in net profit for the six months to September thanks to steady global sales and cost-cutting efforts.

The maker of the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid revised upward its net profit forecast to 2.3 trillion yen ($20.3 billion) from its earlier estimate of 2.12 trillion yen for the year to March 2019 thanks to a weak yen.

But even if the firm, which also has the Lexus luxury brand, hits this forecast, profits would still be lower than the record 2.49 trillion yen posted for the previous fiscal year.

In the April-September period, Toyota’s bottom-line profit rose 16 per cent to 1.24 trillion yen, beating a 10 per cent gain forecast by analysts.

Senior managing officer Masayoshi Shirayanagi said in a statement the firm was “steadily making progress” in its efforts to cut costs.

Revenue for the first half increased 3.4 per cent to 14.7 trillion yen amid steady vehicle sales in North America, Europe, and Asia.

“Toyota is showing solid results so far in this fiscal year thanks to its cost-cutting efforts,” said Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW, a Tokyo-based research and consulting firm.

Japanese automakers, however, remain on edge over talk of US tariffs, though immediate action by Washington has been put off for now.

“Trade rows are still hanging over the Japanese auto industry,” Takada said.

“Immediate fears of extra tariffs on Japanese auto exports have been put off for now but they may revive depending upon Japan-US trade talks,” he said.

Toyota has warned the cost of an imported vehicle would rise by $6,000 if the United States levies a 25 per cent tariff on cars and parts from abroad. — AFP

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