Toyota has reported financial year Q3 (quarter to end December) down by 3.2% at 654.4 billion yen. However, operating profit was only slightly down on last year's quarter and would have been up but for the strengthening of the yen.

Operating profit was particularly strong in North America where the company benefitted from buoyant sales of light trucks and SUVs.

Toyota sold 2.69m vehicles globally during the October-December period, compared with 2.7m units in the same period a year ago. Sales in Asia tumbled 12.5% while sales in North America, Toyota's biggest market, slipped just 1.8%.

Toyota slightly raised its profit forecast for the current fiscal year said it now expects operating profit for the year to end-March to climb to 2.5 trillion yen ($22.7 billion), up from 2.47 trillion yen a year earlier and an earlier forecast of 2.4 trillion yen.

However, the company also cautioned that it hasn't yet taken into account the possible impact of the coronavirus outbreak emanating from China.

First nine months

Consolidated figures for the first nine months of the fiscal year vehicle sales totalled 6,830,129 units, an increase of 129,227 units compared to the same period last fiscal year. On a consolidated basis, net revenues for the period totalled 22.830 trillion yen, an increase of 1.6 percent. Operating income increased from 1.9379 trillion yen to 2.0587 trillion yen, while income before income taxes was 2.5157 trillion yen. Net income increased from 1.4233 trillion yen to 2.0130 trillion yen.

Operating income increased by 120.8 billion yen. Major factors contributing to the increase included an increase of 160.0 billion yen in marketing efforts and an increase of 110.0 billion yen in cost reduction efforts, partially offset by a decrease in currency fluctuations of 250.0 billion yen.

Commenting on the result, TMC Operating Officer Masayoshi Shirayanagi said: "Excluding the overall impact of foreign exchange rates and swap valuation gains and losses, operating income improved by 220 billion yen year on year."

In North America, vehicle sales in the nine-month period totalled 2,113,521 units, an increase of 22,263 units. Operating income, excluding the impact of valuation gains/losses from interest rate swaps, increased by 164.8 billion yen to 328.5 billion yen.

In Europe, vehicle sales totalled 769,929 units, an increase of 45,129 units. Operating income, excluding the impact of valuation gains/losses from interest rate swaps,increased by 22.7 billion yen to 109.7 billion yen.

In Asia, vehicle sales totalled 1,234,760 units, a decrease of 40,098 units. Operating income, excluding the impact of valuation gains/losses from interest rate swaps, decreased by 65.9 billion yen to 329.1 billion yen.

In other regions (including Central and South America, Oceania, Africa, and the Middle East), vehicle sales totalled 1,055,550 units, an increase of 41,028 units. Operating income, excluding the impact of valuation gains/losses from interest rate swaps, decreased by 11.0 billion yen to 73.3 billion yen.