Toyota says net profit jumps to $16 bn, raises FY forecast

Tokyo (AFP) –


Toyota said nine-month net profit jumped nearly 10 percent to 1.9 trillion yen ($16 billion), with the world's top automaker focusing on squeezing more productivity out of its plants, as unit sales fall in most regions.

The Corolla and Prius maker -- which recently retained the title of world's top automaker -- also slightly raised its fiscal year to March profit forecast to 2.27 trillion yen while it trimmed its annual sales forecast.

April-December revenues rose 6.5 percent, Toyota said.

Apart from North America, unit sales were down in most other regions including Europe, Japan, and the rest of Asia, it said.

North America has stood out as one of the key regions for Japanese automakers, after rival Honda last week also cited the giant market as a bright spot that helped offset sluggish sales at home and slowdown in China, the world's top vehicle market.

On Wednesday, Toyota said that all its domestic parts plants would shut for a full day next week, expanding a production suspension that is set to be its longest since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

The move was due to a components shortage following an explosion at a supplier.

It did not say if the temporary production shutdown would affect results in the current quarter.