Toyota more than doubles profit forecast as China sales rebound
Toyota Motor Corp more than doubled its full-year operating profit forecast on Friday, as vehicle sales rebound in China from a coronavirus pandemic squeeze earlier this year that contributed to a 24% slide in second-quarter earnings.
Japan's top car maker said it now expects an operating profit of 1.3 trillion yen (roughly R198,203,040,000) for the year through March, 2021, up from the 500 billion yen (about R75,957,775,700) it predicted previously. Operating profit for the previous financial year was 2.47 trillion yen (roughly R375,307,361,000).
That topped the 1.25 trillion yen (roughly R189,923,319,000) average estimate for full-year profit from 26 analysts polled by Refinitiv.
For the second quarter, from July to September, operating profit fell to 506 billion yen (roughly R76,885,846,023) from 662.4 billion yen (roughly R100,648,434,240) in the same period a year earlier, according to Reuters' calculations, as sales dipped amid the coronavirus impact globally.
Though still weaker than last year, demand has bounced back, particularly in China, the world's biggest car market. Toyota and rivals are pinning recovery hopes on winning business there as China recovers from the pandemic faster than other countries.
Overall vehicle sales in China in September increased 12.8%, a sixth straight monthly gain, though sales were still 6.9% lower than the same time a year earlier.
Toyota has seen demand in China increase for its electric cars and Lexus luxury brand.
A senior Toyota executive in China said in September that annual global sales of electrified vehicles could reach 5.5 million in 2025, five years earlier than initially planned.
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