Toyota Q4 profit nearly doubles beating expectations


Toyota Motor Corp reported on Wednesday its fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 92%, as it shrugged off chip-supply issues and as its sales recovered from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan’s biggest automaker posted an operating profit of 689.8 billion yen ($6.34 billion) in the January-March quarter, beating an estimate of 641.5 billion yen from 10 analysts compiled by Refinitiv. The profit was 369.9 billion yen in the same period a year earlier.

The global auto industry has been grappling with a chip shortage since late last year, which was worsened in recent months by a fire at a chip plant in Japan and blackouts in Texas where a number of chipmakers have factories.

But Toyota surprised rivals and investors last quarter when it said its output would not be disrupted significantly by chip shortages even as Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Honda and Stellantis, among others, have been forced to slow or suspend some production.

Analysts have said Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker by vehicle sales, has so far been largely unscathed likely due to its chip stockpiling policy.

The maker of the RAV4 SUV crossover and Prius hybrid said it sold 9.92 million vehicles group-wide in the fiscal year just ended, and expects to expand its sales this year to 10.55 million units.

It forecast operating profit to rise 13.8% this year to 2.50 trillion yen, lower than a 2.65 trillion yen average profit forecast from 24 analysts compiled by Refinitiv.