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Japan: Toyota says profit more than quadruples in fourth quarter, upbeat forecasts for 2013

Toyota’s fourth-quarter profit more than quadrupled to 121 billion yen and the automaker gave bullish forecasts for the year ahead as sales recover from natural disasters.

Toyota president akio toyodaEnlarge
Toyota president Akio Toyoda delivers a speech during a press conference at the company's head office in Tokyo on May 9, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

Toyota’s fourth-quarter profit more than quadrupled to 121 billion yen ($1.5 billion) and the automaker gave bullish forecasts for the year ahead as sales recover from natural disasters in Japan and Thailand.

According to the Associated Press, Toyota expects profit to more than double to 760 billion this year, after it plunged about 30 percent to 283.6 billion in the year ending March.

Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, plus widespread flooding in Thailand, severely disrupted Toyota’s production and supply chains and helped cost the company its position as the world’s largest carmaker, the Financial Times reported. 

It’s reputation was also battered by high-profile recalls in 2009 and 2010 that hurt demand for its cars, the Wall Street Journal noted.

But Toyota is picking up the pieces and expects to sell 8.7 million vehicles in the 2013 financial year, 1.3 million more vehicles than the nearly 7.4 million vehicles sold for the year ended March, Bloomberg said.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda, the 56-year-old grandson of the automaker's founder, said new vehicle launches would spur demand and boost this year's earnings.

“The cars coming out are going to be demonstrably better in terms of both their design and profitability," he was quoted by the Wall Street Journal saying. 

According to the New York Times, shares in Toyota finished flat at ¥3,145 in Tokyo before the results were released.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/japan/120509/japan-toyota-says-profit-more-quadruples-fourth-quar