Toyota sees net profit falling 31% to $3.5 billion this year

(Daily Nation) Japanese auto giant Toyota on Friday said it expected to book a net profit of 280 billion yen this fiscal year, 31 per cent lower than last year after the March 11 quake and tsunami hit production.

The automaker had delayed its estimate for the current year to assess the full scale of impact of the quake on production and sales.

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the resulting tsunami hammered production, shattered supply chains and crippled electricity-generating facilities, including a nuclear power plant at the centre of an ongoing atomic emergency.

Amid power and parts shortages, Toyota had announced production disruptions domestically and in the United States, European Union, China and Australia because of the crisis, temporarily slowing output or shutting plants.

Toyota’s forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2012 was below last year’s net profit of 408.1 billion yen.

Full-year sales were forecast at 18.6 trillion yen, compared with 18.99 trillion yen the previous year.

Operating profit is projected at 300 billion yen for the full year to March 2012, compared with 468.2 billion yen the previous year.

« We will step up production in the second half, strive to cut fixed expenses and make continuous efforts to reduce costs, which we expect will bring about 300 billion yen, » said executive vice president Satoshi Ozawa.

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