TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's January-March profit more than quadrupled to 121 billion yen ($1.5 billion) from the previous year, and the automaker gave upbeat forecasts for this fiscal year, marking a solid recovery from a hardship-filled year following the tsunami in Japan.
Toyota Motor Corp.'s profit for the fiscal year ended March plunged 30 percent to 283.6 billion yen ($3.5 billion), down from 408 billion yen the previous fiscal year, as last year's tsunami damaged supply chains in northeastern Japan and hobbled Toyota production around the world.
But, in a sign of solid recovery, Japan's No. 1 automaker forecast Wednesday its profit soaring to 760 billion yen ($9.5 billion) for the fiscal year through March 2013.
Toyota's profit for January-March the previous year had been dismal at 25.4 billion yen because of the tsunami damage. The earthquake and tsunami hit March 11, 2011. The flooding in Thailand at about the same time also hammered Toyota's results.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda acknowledged the hardships, but also pointed to the strong yen, which erodes the overseas earnings of Japanese exporters like Toyota.
"Our vision is to establish a strong business foundation that will ensure profitability under any kind of difficult business environment," he said.
"But thanks to the concerted efforts of our employees, suppliers and dealers, we were able to recover production and sales faster than anticipated and achieved a strong result."
Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, saw its vehicle sales grow in all regions, including Japan, Europe and Africa during the latest fiscal year, except for North America. But even there, it is regaining market share.
Toyota is expecting to sell 8.7 million vehicles for the fiscal year through March 2013, 1.3 million more vehicles than the nearly 7.4 million vehicles sold for the fiscal year ended March.