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Toyota reports profit growth on healthy global sales

by Ace Damon
Toyota

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Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press

Posted on November 7, 2019 at 3:58.

TOKYO – Toyota, Japan's largest automaker, said on Thursday its net profit rose 1% in July-September as vehicle sales grew worldwide.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Profit In the second fiscal quarter it totaled 592 billion yen ($ 5.4 billion), up from 585 billion yen last year.

Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, the Corolla subcompact, and the Lexus luxury models, kept its fiscal year net profit forecast for March 2020 at 2.15 trillion yen ($ 20 billion).

That would be an improvement on the 1.88 trillion yen gained in the year ending March.

Vehicle sales in the last quarter grew in Japan and abroad, including the US, the rest of Asia and Europe.

Quarterly sales increased 4 percent to 7.6 trillion yen ($ 70 billion) from a year earlier.

Toyota said it expects to sell 10.7 million vehicles globally for the fiscal year by March 2020, compared to 10.6 million vehicles in the previous fiscal year.

Like most Japanese exporters, Toyota was hurt by the strengthening of the yen. But the results show that Toyota is holding up despite such negatives.

For the first half of the year, cost cuts and marketing efforts offset the impact of an unfavorable exchange rate, he said.

Toyota also said it will buy back up to 200 billion yen ($ 1.8 billion) worth, or 34 million shares, of the company's common stock.

Toyota officials emphasized that the company is focused on becoming a "mobility company" for a future where consumers can opt for new forms of car ownership, such as car sharing, or choose futuristic electric vehicles instead. Ordinary cars today run on gasoline.

"We are in the process of becoming a mobility company and proactively undertaking future investments and creating friends," said Toyota Operations Manager Kenta Kon.

Although Kon has not gone into details, the "friends" Toyota has been courting lately in partnerships include those historically not associated with the traditional auto industry, such as robotics and the Internet.

On Thursday, Toyota and Chinese automaker BYD Co. said they agreed to set up a joint venture to research, develop and design electric vehicles as well as platforms for these vehicles together. The new research company will be set up in China in 2020, with each company holding a 50% stake, they said.

Toyota's stock price rose 1.1% to 7,736 yen ($ 71) in Tokyo trading.

Honda Motor Co. reports gains on Friday and scandal-hit Nissan Motor Co. next week.

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