Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday that its fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 92% as it ignored chip supply issues and sales recovered from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan’s largest automaker reported operating profit of 689.8 billion yen ($ 6.34 billion) in the January-March quarter, beating the estimate of 641.5 billion yen by 10 analysts compiled by Refinitiv. Profit was 369.9 billion yen in the same period a year earlier.
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The global auto industry has been grappling with a chip shortage since late last year, which has been exacerbated in recent months by a fire at a chip factory in Japan and power outages in Texas, where a number of many chip makers have factories.
But Toyota surprised rivals and investors last quarter by saying production would not be significantly disrupted by chip shortages, even as Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Honda and Stellantis, among others, were forced to slow down. or to suspend part of the production.
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Analysts said Toyota, the world’s largest automaker in terms of vehicle sales, has so far been largely unscathed, possibly due to its chip storage policy.
The maker of the RAV4 crossover SUV and the Prius hybrid said it sold 9.92 million vehicles group-wide in the fiscal year just ended and expects sales to increase this year to 10 , 55 million units.
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It predicts that operating profit will rise 13.8% this year to 2.50 trillion yen, lower than the 2.65 trillion yen forecast average profit of 24 analysts compiled by Refinitiv.
(1 USD = 108,8700 yens)
(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Tom Hogue and Muralikumar Anantharaman)