Toyota more than doubles quarterly profit, raises annual forecast

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[1/3]A view of the Toyota FT-3e elecric SUV concept vehicle during a press day of the Japan Mobility Show 2023 at Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, Japan October 25, 2023. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

  • Q2 operating profit jumps 155.6%
  • Raises full-year f'cast 50% to 4.5 trln yen
  • Car sales post y/y rise in all regions in Apr-Sept
  • Shares add to gains after results, up 5.6%

TOKYO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor (7203.T) reported a more than doubling of second-quarter profit on Wednesday, helped by a weak yen and strong sales, and raised its full-year forecast by 50%.

The world's top-selling automaker said operating profit for the three months to the end of September rose 155.6% from a year earlier to 1.44 trillion yen ($9.52 billion).

The Japanese automaker said it sold more cars in all global regions, including the United States, Asia and its home market, over the six months to end-September compared to the same period a year earlier.

Toyota lifted its full-year profit forecast to 4.5 trillion yen from 3 trillion yen, largely due to favourable effects from foreign exchange rates. It expects the weaker yen to account for 1.18 trillion yen of the revision to the full-year profit.

It said a further boost from cost reduction and marketing efforts and price revisions especially outside of Japan was likely to offset higher expected expenses.

The new projection compared to analysts' average forecast of 4.0 trillion yen.

The quarterly results compared to an average 1.08 trillion yen profit estimate in a poll of 10 analysts by LSEG and a profit of 562.8 billion yen in the same period last year.

Toyota shares, which were up 4.4% just before the release of the earnings, jumped immediately after and were up 5.6% at 2,735 yen by 0516 GMT.

Toyota unveiled in June a sweeping revamp of its battery-powered vehicle strategy and committed to technologies to improve the driving range and cut costs of electric vehicles.

It said overnight it would boost investment by $8 billion in a North Carolina plant that will make batteries for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full-battery vehicles.

In the first nine months of the year it sold 7.5 million cars, which included the Lexus luxury brand, nearly a third of them hybrids. It sold around 76,000 battery EVs, or about 1% of total sales, during the same period.

While Toyota has avoided the kind of hit other Japanese automakers such as Nissan Motor (7201.T) Honda Motor (7267.T) have taken in China from a shift to EVs and the rise of domestic brands, Toyota still faces pressure in the world's biggest auto market.

It also faces a battle in Southeast Asian markets such as Thailand due to rising Chinese investments, fuelled by higher demand for EVs.

($1 = 151.2900 yen)

Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by David Dolan and Muralikumar Anantharaman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Daniel Leussink is a correspondent in Japan. Most recently, he has been covering Japan’s automotive industry, chronicling how some of the world's biggest automakers navigate a transition to electric vehicles and unprecedented supply chain disruptions. Since joining Reuters in 2018, Leussink has also covered Japan’s economy, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, COVID-19 and the Bank of Japan’s ultra-easy monetary policy experiment.

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