Toyota Motor is likely to book a group operating profit of about JPY100bn (US$1.1bn) for its April-June fiscal first quarter thanks to solid sales and a sharp recovery from the previous year's loss, the Nikkei business daily said.

The automaker, which lost JPY194.8bn in the same period last year, is likely to keep its annual profit forecast unchanged due to uncertainty over the European and US economies, the paper also said, without citing sources, according to Reuters.

Strong sales in emerging or resource-rich countries, such as in the Middle East, helped Toyota shake off negative factors, including a stronger yen, massive recalls and production halts in China due to strikes at local parts factories.

Toyota also enjoyed strong sales of its Prius hybrid model in Japan, the Nikkei added.

In the three months to June, the Toyota Group - including truckmaker Hino Motors and small car specialist Daihatsu - sold between 1.8m and 1.9m vehicles, about 30% up year on year, the report said.

Toyota's sales are also picking up in North America after being hurt by the mass recalls, the paper said.

But sales could subside later in the year as the Japanese government ends subsidies on purchasing 'eco cars' in September, the paper noted.

Toyota projects an operating profit of JPY280bn for the current fiscal year to March, up 90% year on year.

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