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Business

Carmaker Toyota sees earnings up sharply on cheap yen

Japanese auto maker Toyota has significantly raised its profit forecast for the current year. It said the depreciation of the national currency and strong overseas sales gave every reason to be optimistic.

Toyota announced Friday it had raised its annual net profit forecast to 1.48 trillion yen ($14.9 billion, 11.28 billion euros) for the current financial year through March 31, 2014, marking an 8 percent jump on a previous estimate.

It also revised upwards its operating profit outlook to 1.94 trillion yen, up from a previous estimate of one trillion yen three months ago.

For the first quarter lasting from April to June, the maker of the Prius hybrid and the Camry sedan already saw its net earnings rise by almost 50 percent, while sales jumped by 13.7 percent.

Full steam ahead

Toyota, the world's top auto maker in terms of global vehicle sales, said it had profited from very strong US and emerging economy markets, while sales figures disappointed in stagnant Japan and Europe.

The yen has declined about 20 percent against the US dollar since the end of last November. The significant depreciation has made Japanese cars more competitive abroad and improved repatriated revenues.

The Japanese carmaker said it had gained the equivalent of some $2.6 billion from a favorable exchange rate in the first fiscal quarter. But this was not the only reason for the firm's sales rally, Toyota insisted.

"Operating income increased also due to the impact of our global efforts for profit improvement through cost-reduction activities," Managing Officer Takuo Sasaki said in a statement.

hg/tj (AFP, AP, dpa)