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Toyota drives back into profit

Back to black: Toyota Australia has returned to profit after recording a $437 million loss in the 2013/14 financial year on the back of its announcement to shut down local manufacturing operations.

After tax profit of $194 million a return to form for Toyota Australia

Toyota logo19 Jun 2015

By TIM NICHOLSON

TOYOTA Australia has bounced back from last year’s massive $437 after-tax loss with today’s announcement of a $194 million profit for the 2014/2015 Japanese financial year.

Confirming the result, Toyota attributed the upswing to “strong local and export vehicle sales,” which totalled 264,947 Toyota and Lexus-badged vehicles in the financial year ending 31 March 2015.

In that period the company achieved 204,366 sales of Toyota-branded models and 7091 Lexus vehicles in Australia with the remaining 53,490 likely to be exports.

Costs incurred in restructuring business following Toyota’s announcement last year that it would cease manufacturing in Australia by the end of 2017, totalled $66 million in this financial year.

This marks a significant drop from the $889 million in restructuring costs Toyota recorded in the previous year, made up of $505 million in asset write-downs and $384 million for redundancies.

It also represents something of a return to form for Toyota Australia, bettering its 2012/2013 result of $144 million in profit.

The company said in a statement that it expects “impairments” relating to redundancies and asset write-downs will continue right up to the point of the plant closure.

Toyota will close its Australian manufacturing operation, where it produces the Camry and Aurion sedans, by the end of 2017, leaving 2500 factory workers without a job.

It will likely be the last car-maker to shut its doors, following Ford in October next year and GM Holden in 2017.

In December last year Toyota announced it would consolidate its remaining workforce in the coming years to Melbourne, which will become home to the brand’ s main corporate office – leaving the future of its Caringbah, Sydney facility in doubt.

Toyota Australia president Dave Buttner highlighted the commitment of the company’s employees to the brand following the announcement of the closure.

“Despite some difficult announcements during the past 12 months, our employees have continued to be committed and passionate,” he said.

“It’s been extremely pleasing to see everyone working together, especially as the company prepared for last month’s launch of the new-look Camry.” Mr Buttner said the enduring popularity of the Toyota line-up in Australia has helped contribute to a strong result for the Japanese car-maker.

“We are pleased that our vehicle line-up continues to appeal strongly to Australian motorists.

“Toyota has again retained its overall market leadership for the twelfth consecutive year and our Corolla topped the national sales chart for the second year running.” Toyota’s Australia’s global parent company last month announced one of its biggest-ever profits, with the automotive giant recording ¥2.17 trillion ($A22.84b), a 19.2 per cent increase over the previous year’s results.

Last month Ford Australia announced a $190 million loss for the 20114 financial year on the back of a record low sales result of 79,703 in the period and ongoing costs relating to the closure of its Geelong and Broadmeadows manufacturing operations in Victoria, scheduled for October 2016.

Ford’s loss was less dramatic than the previous financial year, when it recorded a $267 million loss. GM Holden is yet to outline its financial results for 2014.

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