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Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008

Toyota logs record quarterly profit despite U.S. slump


Staff writer

Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday its October-December group revenue, operating profit and net profit all hit record highs on a third-quarter basis as vigorous sales in growing emerging markets outstripped a slowdown in the U.S.

Toyota, which looks to beat its U.S. rival, General Motors Corp., this year to become the world's No. 1 automaker by sales, said net profit jumped by 7.5 percent from a year earlier to ¥458.67 billion for the three months.

Revenue was up 9.2 percent at ¥6.71 trillion and operating profit was up 4.7 percent at ¥601.56 billion. All of the figures marked record highs for a fifth consecutive year, the company said.

"The markets where we have long focused on their high potential are showing big growth," Toyota Managing Director Takeshi Suzuki told a news conference, noting areas contributing to the growth include the Middle East, Latin America, China and Russia.

Operating profit in other parts of Asia surged by ¥36.2 billion to ¥64.3 billion for the third quarter, surpassing the profit in North America for the first time.

North America profit fell by ¥35.5 billion to ¥63.6 billion for the quarter partly due to high oil prices and consumer sentiment hurt by the subprime mortgage loan crisis.

Despite the bright numbers for the third quarter, Toyota kept its full-year forecast unchanged.

It is forecasting sales of 8.93 million units, up 406,000 from a year earlier, and group net profit of ¥1.7 trillion for the business year to March 31, up 3.4 percent.



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