Toyota Motor Corp raised its fiscal year profit forecast on Tuesday to triple what it eked out for the disaster-struck previous year, as the world’s top automaker continued on a comeback roll as sales surged, especially in the US.

Toyota’s October-December profit jumped 23 per cent to 99.91 billion yen ($1.09 billion), compared to the same period in the previous year. Quarterly sales edged up 9 per cent to 5.3 trillion yen ($58 billion).

Underlining its solid recovery, Toyota is now expecting a fiscal year profit of 860 billion yen ($9.3 billion). It had initially expected a 780 billion yen ($8.5 billion) profit. It had marked a 283.5 billion yen profit through March 2012.

Toyota also raised its sales forecast for the fiscal year through March to 21.8 trillion yen ($237 billion), up 17 per cent from the previous fiscal year.

Toyota is also expecting a perk from a favourable exchange rate. The yen has been weakening on expectations the Prime Minister, who took office late last year, will push for inflation targets and other monetary policy designed to weaken the yen.

A strong yen hurts giant exporters such as Toyota by erasing the value of overseas earnings.

Toyota gained 50 billion yen ($543 million) in operating income in October-December from the weak yen.

Toyota’s recovery tale is being repeated at other Japanese automakers, which saw production disruptions from the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake in north-eastern Japan.

For the fiscal year through March 2013, Toyota is now expecting to sell 8.85 million vehicles, up from the previous forecast for 8.75 million vehicles, because of strong North American sales.

(This article was published on February 5, 2013)
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