Toyota back in black despite global recall woes

09:10, May 12, 2010      

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Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it returned to the black in its fiscal fourth quarter, as cost cuts and robust domestic demand in part helped to offset a drop in sales in some overseas markets due to massive global safety recalls.

The world's largest automaker posted a net profit of 112.2 billion yen (1.2 billion U.S. dollars) in the three months ended March 31, compared with a net loss of 765.8 billion yen (8.22 billion U.S. dollars) logged in the same period a year earlier.

Toyota posted an operating profit of 95.3 billion yen in the fiscal fourth quarter compared with an operating loss of 682.5 billion yen in the previous year.

Sales during this period climbed 49 percent, totaling 5.28 trillion yen (56.88 billion U.S. dollars) in the quarter, up from 3.536 trillion yen (37.95 billion U.S. dollars) a year earlier, despite the automaker facing legal and public relations problems regarding a string of safety issues that lead to more than 8 million vehicles being recalled globally.

Toyota reported an operating profit of 147.52 billion yen (1.58 billion U.S. dollars) for the full fiscal year ended March 31 and a net profit of 209.46 billion yen (2.24 billion U.S. dollars) during the same period.

Sales in fiscal 2009 totaled 18.95 trillion yen (203.42 billion U.S. dollars) and the maker of Prius hybrid vehicles said it forecasts a 48 percent gain in net profit, a 1.3 percent gain in sales and a massive 90 leap in its operating profit for the current fiscal year through March 2011.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder, has had to account for his company's poor safety record that cost more than 50 lives in the U.S. in U.S. congressional hearings.

Toyoda, on behalf of Japan's biggest automaker, has made personal visits to workers and dealers in all of the firm's major markets in a bid to boost morale and restore consumer confidence.

Toyota's hybrid Prius model remained Japan's number one selling car in April, an industry body said Tuesday and there is currently a six month waiting list for the environmentally friendly vehicle that uses both gas and electric motors.



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