Toyota Motor Corp. (TM: Quote) reported Wednesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit grew five-fold as vehicle sales climbed from a disaster-hit last year. For the ongoing fiscal, the Japanese automotive giant projects significant profit and sales growth citing increased sales volume in all regions, mainly in North America and Asia.
President Akio Toyoda said that the business environment for fiscal year 2012 was extremely challenging due to production losses following the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Thailand floods, in addition to the unprecedented strength of the yen.
"But, we were able to recover production and sales faster than anticipated and achieved a strong result," he added.
In the fourth quarter ended March 31, net income surged to 121 billion yen from 25.4 billion yen last year. Operating income increased five-fold to 238.5 billion yen from last year's 46.1 billion yen.
Net revenues for the quarter climbed to 5.70 trillion yen from 4.64 trillion yen a year ago, as consolidated vehicle sales grew to 2.36 million vehicles from 1.79 million vehicles.
For the fiscal year 2012 as a whole, net income attributable to Toyota plunged 30.5 percent to 283.56 billion yen or 90.20 yen per share partly due to negative currency impacts.
Net revenues for the year were down 2.2 percent to 18.58 trillion yen, even as vehicle sales edged up 0.6 percent to 7.35 million units.
In the year, higher revenues from Japan and Europe were more than offset by weak performance in Asia, North America and other regions. Both automotive and financial services segments posted lower sales.
In Japan, vehicle sales were boosted by the active introduction of new products and a gradually picking up economy. The country is still facing dire challenges linked to the impact of last year's Great East Japan Earthquake.
Overseas vehicle sales decreased 2.1 percent, as manufacturers were obliged to adjust or stop production due to sales restrictions in parts supplies caused by the earthquake and Thai floods.
Citing anticipated expansion of the automotive market, particularly in emerging countries, Toyota said it expects net income for fiscal year ending March 2013 to surge 168 percent to 760 billion yen or 239.99 yen per basic share and operating income to grow 181.2 percent to 1 trillion yen.
Toyota also projects consolidated net revenue of 22 trillion yen for the year, a year-over-year growth of 18.4 percent.
Consolidated vehicles sales are expected to be 8.7 million units, an increase of 1,350 thousand units from fiscal year 2012. The positive forecast is despite the downside risks by the European sovereign debt crises and oil price hikes.
Further, Toyota announced a year-end dividend of 30 yen per share to be proposed at the general shareholders meeting in June. This will bring the annual dividend to 50 yen per share.
Toyota also said it will not repurchase its own shares for the time being to prioritize securing its cash reserves amid the uncertain condition of the global economy.
In Japan, Toyota shares closed today's trading at 3,145 yen.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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