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Toyota ups global profit forecast as Australia struggles

Sinking feeling: The portion of Toyota’s global business, which its Australian car-making operations belong to, sold fewer cars in the first half of this financial year compared with the same six-month period last year.

Strong first-half earnings prompt Toyota to see better times ahead

Toyota logo7 Nov 2013

TOYOTA is doing so well internationally that the Japanese car-maker has upped its full-year earnings forecast after a bumper first half.

However, while the results come mostly on the back of a falling yen, which helps the Japanese car-maker’s exports, and an increase in US car sales, nothing is said of the performance of Toyota’s struggling Australian business.

Toyota posted a 1 trillion yen ($A10 billion) post-tax profit for the first six months of the financial year ending in September, up by almost 90 per cent on the previous half, and based on revenue that was 15 per cent higher at 12.5 trillion yen.

Making a big contribution were foreign exchange earnings from Toyota’s subsidiaries outside Japan, which jumped almost 90 per cent boost to the company’s bottom line.

According to the financial statements, Toyota made 2,201,337 vehicles, up slightly on the 2,164,505 it made in the first half of last financial year.

Japanese production fell, North American production rose, In Japan, production decreased by 16,945 units to 1,083,451 units, while in North America, production was 405,711 units, an increase of 14,826 units from the same quarter last year.

European production rose, while the Asian region – which includes Australia – fell compared with last year.

The positive result has buoyed Toyota to increase the prediction for its full-year revenue, jumping from the previously forecast 24 trillion yen to 25 trillion yen.

Likewise, after-tax profit is predicted to rise from 1.94 trillion yen to 2.2 trillion yen.

Documents released publicly by the car-maker do not provide any information on the fortunes of its Australian car-making and distribution business, which last financial year made a $149 million profit – mainly on the back of its imported cars – after a string of losses.

The Australian arm of Toyota is currently in talks with its workers as it tries to save $3800 on the production cost of each vehicle that rolls down its Altona production line.

The car-maker is currently in talks with its Japanese parent company to finalise export orders for the next-generation Camry it plans to build in Australia from 2016 – which accounts for seven in every 10 vehicles made there.

Workers will vote on a raft of changes to workplace agreements to make the plant more profitable early next month.

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