The world's best-selling automaker, which analysts say could be
overtaken this year by German rival Volkswagen AG in global auto
sales, also said it would stick to utilising existing plants to
maximum capacity before investing in new factories.
Toyota on Tuesday posted 692.7 billion yen ($6.76 billion) in
April-June operating profit, up 4.4 percent year-on-year and its
best quarter ever with solid U.S. sales, cost cuts and a weaker yen
That exceeded the 637.3 billion yen mean estimate of 13 analysts
surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
North American operating profit rose 45 percent to 149.7 billion
yen, surpassing Asia excluding Japan, which posted far more modest
profit growth of 5.6 percent to 110.3 billion yen.
"Conditions in Thailand, India, Brazil and other emerging markets
are weak," Managing Officer Koki Konishi told an earnings briefing.
"But we're trying our best to get an additional 50,000 vehicles out
of Japan to offset some of that, and to reach around 2.3 million in
the U.S.," he said, referring to Toyota's 2014 calendar year sales
For 2014, the company trimmed its global group-wide sales forecast
to 10.22 million vehicles, a reduction of 110,000 vehicles. The
Toyota group includes Daihatsu Motor Co and Hino Motors.
Toyota raised its North American sales target for the financial year
to next March while cutting its target for Asia excluding Japan and
China, although its first-quarter profit margins in Asia rose
"In Asia, where competition is intensifying, sales growth is
struggling but there's no drop in margins and it's nothing to worry
about," said Kentaro Hayashi, an analyst at Tachibana Securities.
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Toyota, which does not plan to build any new plants globally until
around 2016, is still giving no hints on what its future investment
plans might be. The automaker has annual global production capacity
of about 9.8 million vehicles for its Toyota and Lexus brands,
Managing Officer Takuo Sasaki said.
"This would suffice, considering our current production and sales
balance," Sasaki said.
For the year to March 2015, Toyota stuck with its full-year
operating profit forecast of 2.3 trillion yen. That would be a
record high, although just a 0.3 percent increase from a year
earlier as the tailwind from a weaker yen that helped boost export
profits runs out of steam.
Toyota's shares ended flat at 6,042 yen before the earnings
announcement, compared with a 1 percent drop in Tokyo's benchmark
Nikkei average. For the year to date, both Toyota and the benchmark
have fallen 6 percent.
($1 = 102.47 Japanese yen)
(Additional reporting by Hirotoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Matt
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