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EARNINGS : Toyota Sales, Profit Surge in Year; Slower Growth Seen

From Reuters

Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that its profit and sales raced ahead in the year ended in June. But some analysts forecast that Japan’s biggest car maker was unlikely to enjoy the same growth this year.

The car maker’s net profit surged 18% to $2.5 billion (360.80 billion yen) in the year ended June 30, while the parent company’s net rose 27.4% to $3.1 billion (441.30 billion yen).

In the fiscal year, car unit sales grew 11.3% to $55.6 billion (8 trillion yen) while group sales surged 14.6% to $63.82 billion (9.19 trillion yen).

“The results were excellent,” said Ben Moyer, car analyst at Merrill Lynch Japan. “I think they will continue to be fairly good, although not as good as this year.”

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The powerful business performance stems from a combination of a rich product mix, high production, aggressive marketing, strong distribution, a weaker yen and bigger profits at overseas manufacturing subsidiaries, analysts said.

“Maybe the better question is, ‘Where is Toyota weak?’ I can’t think of anything,” Moyer said.

“These are quite strong results for Toyota,” said industry analyst Richard Ko at Barclays de Zoete Wedd Securities Japan. “The strongest contributor is still domestic sales. On the other hand, sales in America are strong too.”

The company expects parent sales to grow 6.3% to $60 billion (8.5 trillion yen) in 1990-91, the spokesman said. He gave no profit forecasts.

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Maintaining that sales growth next year will be difficult, Ko at Barclays said. He said he expected sales growth among Japanese car companies to average less than 5%, about what is expected for Toyota.

“Toyota will continue to be an outstanding company among Japanese auto makers,” Ko said.

But higher oil prices and a slowdown in economic growth could dampen demand for passenger cars.


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