Toyota Motor Co. celebrated beating analysts’ estimates for its second quarter by announcing a $1.8 billion share buyback.
Operating profit rose 14% to 662.3 billion yen, or $6.1 billion, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, marking Toyota’s best second quarter since 2015. The profit beat an average forecast of 592.3 billion yen, based on estimates from nine analysts, Refinitiv data showed.
While the company’s operating profit rose on comparable basis, its bottom line shrank very slightly, due in large measure to increases in foreign exchange rates and interest expenses. The company’s net income was 613.1 billion yen down from 613.6 billion yen.
On a consolidated basis, net revenues for the first half of the 2020 fiscal year totaled 15.2855 trillion yen, an increase of 4.2%. Operating income rose from 1.2618 trillion yen to 1.4043 trillion yen, while income before income taxes was 1.5834 trillion yen. Net income increased from 1.2423 trillion yen to 1.2749 trillion yen.
“Currently, we are in a phase of transforming ourselves to a mobility company and proactively undertaking investments for the future and creating friends,” said Chief Operating Officer Kenta Kon. “Furthermore, in order to have a corporate structure that can promote such transformation, we are striving to pursue TPS and refining costs at all levels, with all members of Toyota united.”
The Japanese automaker enjoyed a solid sales increase during the period to 2.75 million vehicles globally from 2.18 million units. The push was led by North America, which posted a 5.6% jump, while Asia rose 3.4%.
The sales jump helped the company with its North American operating profit in North America, which have been down for the past two years. The rise in profits is a result of a reduction in product discounts, the company noted.
“New models of the RAV4 and the Corolla, as well as last year’s Camry, have been well received in North America, so we’ve been able to lower incentives,” Kon said during the press conference.
Toyota said it would buy back up to $1.8 billion worth of its common stock, or 34 million shares, by end-March. Additionally, officials confirmed its forecast for operating profit for the full year will fall 2.7%, after three years of gains, as it expects a strengthening yen to weigh.
It did cut its forecast for annual global car sales by 2.7% to 10.7 million units. They cited weakening demand in India, Indonesia and Thailand as the primary reason for the anticipated demand. The automaker still expects record sales topping last year’s 10.6 million units.
Executive Vice President Mitsuru Kawai told reporters that the company was looking at every possible way to cut production costs and improve efficiency at its factories, including scraping out “every last drop” of vehicle body paint from the can before opening a new one, Reuters reported.
“(Each drop of paint) on its own would represent only a fraction of a yen in savings, but if we add up these efforts we can build a savings effect,” he said.