Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has boosted its net profit for the six months ended 30 September 2002 by 90.2% to 553.7 billion yen, while net income per share increased 78.27 yen year-on-year to 158.54 yen.

Consolidated net sales for the six months were up 15.4% year on year to 7.88 trillion yen. Operating income increased 44.3% to 730.8 billion yen, while ordinary income increased 50.8% to 794.0 billion yen. All figures represent new records, Toyota said in a statement.

TMC said the 224.3 billion yen increase in operating income was due largely to cost reduction efforts totalling 150 billion yen, 90 billion yen from the effect of changes in foreign exchange rates and an 80 billion yen increase from improved sales.

However, the increase was partially offset by higher costs for research and development, labour and “other costs” totalling 95.7 billion yen.

TMC also announced an interim half-year dividend of 16 yen per share, an increase of three yen per share compared with the six months ended September 30, 2001.

“In addition to our strong sales performance in the first half, we also greatly benefited from our continued progress in reducing costs, said TMC president Fujio Cho.

In Japan, Toyota’s market share for the six-month period (excluding minivehicles) was 42.1%, a slight increase over the same period last year despite a decrease in domestic sales volume (including Hino and Daihatsu) of 53,000 vehicles to 1.02 million.

Overseas sales in the first half increased 23.5%, to 1.99 million vehicles.
Total sales for the period, including Japan and overseas, reached 3.01 million vehicles, an increase of 326,000 vehicles, or 12.1%, compared with the same period last year.

“We continue to work aggressively to develop our global business strategy through an improved sales network and expanded local production,” Cho said.

“In Japan, we hope to achieve market share of 43% in fiscal year 2003 through increased sales of our newer, more popular models.”

“North America remains a pillar of strength for Toyota, and we intend to maintain our strong momentum by launching attractive products that respond to the needs of our customers,” Cho added.

“At the same time, we will expand our effort to target younger consumers in the US through our Scion marketing initiative. We are aiming to achieve annual sales of two million units in North America soon.”

Cho said Toyota was making “strong progress” towards a European sales goal of 800,000 sales a year for a 5% market share

“We also are improving our cost-competitiveness by expanding local production of parts and components. Our joint venture with PSA Peugeot Citroën,” the TMC president said.

He added that the Czech Republic joint venture small car plant with PSA “will provide valuable operational expertise that we can apply to all of our operations throughout the region.”

“We are building a solid foundation in China, one of the world’s most important markets, through our new alliance with China FAW Group Corporation [and] also considering opportunities to expand in Russia, and eastern and central Europe.

“Our mission is to become a truly global company and we believe we are well on our way.”

Based on an exchange rate of 120 yen to the dollar and 115 yen to the euro for the second half, TMC is forecasting unconsolidated net sales of 8.6 trillion yen, ordinary income of 820 billion yen, and net income of 590 billion yen for the 2002/3 fiscal year.