Toyota profits rise after sales recover

Image caption,
Toyota now expects to sell some 7.38 million vehicles in the full year

Japanese carmaker Toyota has reported its biggest quarterly profit in two years, with sales recovering as the company seeks to put the recall of millions of vehicles behind it.

Toyota made a net profit of 190.4bn yen ($2.2bn; £1.4bn) in the three months to June, bouncing back from a 77.8bn yen loss in the same period a year ago.

Group revenues increased 27% on last year to 4,872bn yen.

The company also raised its sales and profit forecast for the full year.

It now expects to sell 7.38 million cars globally and make a net profit of 340bn yen in its financial year, which runs from April 2010 to March 2011.

In May, it had forecast sales of 7.29 million and a profit of about 310bn yen.

However, analysts have much higher expectations.

"The fact that they lifted their forecast is good, but it still seems a bit weak, and I wonder if this isn't a bit too conservative," commented Hiroaki Osakabe at Chibagin Asset Management in Tokyo.

Regaining trust

Toyota was already struggling with the financial crisis that hit global demand for vehicles, when it was forced to issue a string of recalls because of safety problems.

The company has recalled about 10 million vehicles globally in the past year for various problems including faulty floor mats, sticky accelerator pedals, braking software glitches and steering malfunctions.

Its reputation has taken a hammering, particularly in the US where it is facing hundreds of lawsuits.

"We will try to regain trust from our customers as quickly as possible and we will continue our effort to improve sales," said senior managing director Takahiko Ijichi.

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