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JAPAN: Toyota boosts profits forecast

By just-auto.com editorial team | 20 September 2006

Toyota has boosted its forecast fiscal half year 2007 operating revenues and profits due to a weaker yen than initially anticipated and an increase in sales in overseas markets, the automaker said in a statement on Wednesday.

Net revenues are now forecast at JPY5,500bn, up 5.8% from the previously predicted JPY5,200bn. Operating income is up 45.9% from JPY340m to JPY540m and net income is forecast at JPY500m, up 32.1% from JPY380m. Ordinary income is expected to be JPY740m, up 31.6% from the previously forecast JPY560m.

Separately, Reuters reported that Toyota was aiming for group global sales of 9.8m units in 2008, compared with its forecast of 8.85m this year.

The new vehicle sales goal means that Toyota is more likely than ever to overtake General Motors as the world's biggest maker by sales volume, the news agency noted.

Plagued with a rise in vehicle recalls as it struggles to catch up with runaway demand, Toyota also said it would hire about 8,000 engineers globally by 2010, Reuters added.

In May, Toyota projected a consolidated operating profit of JPY1.9 trillion for the year to end-March, which compares with a consensus forecast of JPY2.03 trillion from 20 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.

Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe told the news agency the auto maker aimed to lift its operating margin to 10% -- without specifying a timeframe -- from 8.9% in 2005/06.