Toyota profits slid another 13.5% for the latest quarter reflecting the maker’s ongoing production problems and the impact of lopsided exchange rates – but the Japanese giant also indicated that it has begun a long-awaited recovery that should see profits begun turning upward during the final three months of the Japanese fiscal year.
Toyota profits slipped to 80.9 billion, or $1.05 billion, for the October – December quarter, down from $93.6 billion yen the year before. Sales for the quarter were up 4.1%, to 4.865 trillion yen, or $63.4 billion, hinting at the maker’s slow return to normal production levels after the hammering it took as a result of the March 11 Japanese earthquake and tsunami and subsequent flooding in Thailand.
Toyota Managing Director Takashi Ijichi indicated, during a conference call, that sales continue returning back to normal during the current quarter. Meanwhile, “company-wide profit improving efforts” will help trim about 60 billion yen in costs during the fourth quarter. As a result, Toyota raised its profit forecast for the full year to 200 billion yen, or $2.6 billion, up from 180 billion yen, or $2.3 billion, in an earlier forecast.
“We feel confident the foundation of our business is now stronger,” he said.