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Toyota hikes profit forecasts on strong sales, weakening yen

Analysts see top seller Toyota as the most likely to benefit from a weakening yen because it has the highest ratio of production in Japan.

Toyota 252013Enlarge
People look at Toyota Motor vehicles at the company's showroom in Tokyo, Japan, on Feb. 5, 2013. Toyota recently raised its annual net profit forecast by more than 10 percent on strong sales of the Camry sedan and other vehicles in the US. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

Toyota Motor raised its annual net profit forecast by more than 10 percent to 860 billion yen ($9.3 billion) on strong sales of the Camry sedan and other vehicles in its biggest market the United States, as well as the yen's drop.

The world's biggest-selling carmaker posted a net profit of 99.9 billion yen for the three months to Dec. 31, up 23.5 percent from a year ago when it struggled after natural disasters disrupted its supply chain.

(Read More: Honda Trims Full-Year Profit Forecast on China Hilt)

Its third-quarter profit figure was below the average estimate of 143.7 billion yen among seven analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Among Japan's big three automakers — Toyota, Nissan Motor and Honda Motor — analysts see top seller Toyota as the most likely to benefit from a weakening yen because it has the highest ratio of production in Japan, more than half of which it exports.

(Read More: Toyota Top Auto Brand, Tesla Gaining: Survey)

The yen is trading at around 92 to the dollar, compared with 78 at the start of October. The weaker the Japanese currency, the more money exporters make when they convert overseas profits back into yen.

In 2013, Toyota expects to sell 8.9 million vehicles globally.

Last year, the 75-year-old firm sold a record 8.72 million vehicles around the world. Its group-wide sales were also a record high of 9.75 million vehicles, beating General Motors to regain top rank among car manufacturers.

Shares in Toyota have risen nearly 50 percent since mid-November on hopes the weakening yen will boost its bottom line.

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Original Source URL: 
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100433605

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/companies/130205/toyota-profit-forecast-companies-Japan-US-global-economy