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Toyota almost doubles global profit

Bottom line: The 2013-14 financial year proved an expensive one for the region that incorporates Toyota’s Australian car-making division.

Strong earnings reap rich rewards for Toyota, except in Australia’s region

13 May 2014

TOYOTA almost doubled its global profit last financial year, reaping a $1.8 trillion yen ($A19 billion) return that jumped 89.5 percent over the previous year.

Worldwide sales rose to 9,116,033 units, an increase of 245,369 units compared with the previous year ending on March 31, 2014, while revenue rose 16.4 percent to 25.7 trillion yen, the company’s financial statement shows.

One contributor to this year’s bottom line was earnings made from the car-maker hedging the weakening yen against other currencies, which added another 50 billion yen to the ledger.

The car-maker’s stronger sales came from Japan (2,365,410, up 86,614 units) and North America (2,529,398, up 60,594 units), and to a lesser extent Europe (844,003, up 44,918 units), while sales in Asia fell markedly (1,608,355, down 75,223) although revenue was up.

Sales in Toyota’s “other” regions that bundles Australia in with South and Central America, Africa and the Middle East – the latter being Toyota Australia’s major export destination – rose by 128,466 units to more than 1.7 million sales, although income dropped sharply in the region despite a significant increase in revenue, falling more than 68 percent “mainly due to the increase in expenses”.

Toyota’s annual report made no specific mention of its Australian operations, which announced this year that it would stop making the Camry mid-size and Aurion large car from late in 2017.

Toyota Australia is expected to announced its annual result – potentially another loss associated with the countdown to its factory closures that will rival that of Ford Australia’s $267 million run of red ink and Holden’s $553.8 million black hole announced this week – some time in June.

In the 2012-13 financial year, Toyota’s Australian division posted a $149 million profit after a string of previous losses adding up to $153 million.

However, while Toyota’s global operations have posted strong growth this year, the car-maker’s forward-looking statement for the 2014-15 financial year isn’t so optimistic, predicting flat revenue and slightly lower income in a global market propped up mainly by the strength of the US market.

“As for our future business environment, the world economy is expected to benefit from ongoing moderate recovery in the U.S. and a gradual move toward recovery in Europe, meanwhile, some emerging countries show signs of uncertainty,” it said.

“The Japanese economy is expected to remain on a recovery trend, backed by an improved environment for exports and the effects of various policy measures.

“Due attention should be paid, however, to downside risks mainly from the continuing uncertainty of overseas economies, especially in emerging countries,” it said.

It added that selling cars would get even tougher in the 2014-15 financial year.

“The automotive market is expected to see expansion mainly in the U.S.

however, amid the change in market structure, as seen in the expansion and diversification of demand for eco-cars backed by rising environmental consciousness and rapid advances in information and communication technology, fierce competition exists on a global scale.”

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