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Toyota reports fall in quarterly profit

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Toyota reported a 39 percent slide in quarterly profit but raised its full-year forecasts for earnings and sales, citing a global auto recovery.

The results show a mixed picture for the world’s biggest automaker, which is enjoying booming sales in high-growth markets in Asia, Africa and South America, while facing lingering worries about quality lapses in the key U.S. market.

Toyota Motor Corp. reported Tuesday a fiscal third quarter profit of 93.63 billion yen ($1.1 billion), down from 153 billion yen in the October-December quarter of 2009. Quarterly sales at the Japanese automaker declined 11.7 percent to 4.673 trillion yen ($57 billion).

The maker of the Lexus luxury model, Camry sedan and the Prius hybrid now expects to sell 7.48 million vehicles around the world in the year ending March 31, up from the previous forecast for 7.1 million vehicles.

Toyota raised its annual profit forecast to 490 billion yen ($6 billion) from 350 billion yen ($4.3 billion).

Senior Managing Director Takehiko Ijichi shrugged off the threat from a strong yen, which erodes the value of overseas earnings of Japanese exporters.

He said the strong demand from emerging markets was growing into “one of the pillars supporting our earnings.”

The one area where Toyota has been stumbling is the U.S., where it has been losing market share because of worries about the quality of its cars after the massive series of recalls that began in 2009.

The recalls, which have ballooned to more than 12 million vehicles around the world, include sticky gas pedals, faulty floor mats, braking software glitches and other defects.

Source: AP

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