Toyota raises profit outlook, says will keep producing at home

Mon Feb 6, 2017 6:37am EST
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By Naomi Tajitsu

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote) reported a drop in quarterly operating profit on Monday but still added 9.7 percent to its full-year earnings forecast as the world's No. 2 automaker expects a bigger reprieve from a weakening yen.

The manufacturer also said it had "no immediate plans" to change its policy of producing an annual 3 million vehicles at home in Japan, many of which are shipped to the United States, even after criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump for the number of cars it exports to the country.

The results come as Toyota braces for profit to tumble from last year's record 2.31 trillion yen. However, its outlook has improved as it anticipates the domestic currency to stabilize following volatility seen earlier in the financial year.

"We've revised our full-year yen forecast to 107 yen to the U.S. dollar from 103 yen, which is the biggest contributing factor to our profit forecast revision," Managing Officer Tetsuya Otake told reporters.

Toyota now expects net profit of 1.7 trillion yen ($15.08 billion) for the year ending March, a decline of 26 percent from a record set a year earlier. It also sees operating profit of 1.85 trillion yen, 8.8 percent more than forecast in November.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, however, a stronger yen knocked 770 billion yen off earnings. That pushed operating profit to 438.5 billion yen from 722.2 billion a year earlier, below a median forecast of 483.57 billion yen drawn from 11 analysts in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/ poll.

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A man looks at Toyota Motor Corp's Estima Hybrid model at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, February 6, 2017.  REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon