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Toyota profits tumble in wake of Japan disaster

Toyota has revealed a fourth-quarter profit fall of 77 per cent to the lowest point in a 18 months, blamed on the Japan earthquake and tsunami that continues to disrupt production and sales.

 

It reported net income of 25.4 billion yen ($314 million) for the three months to March 31.

Sales fell 12 per cent to 4.64 trillion yen, the company said.

The disruptions may cause Toyota to fall behind General Motors and Volkswagen AG in global sales this year.

Toyota said today it expects domestic and overseas production to begin recovering in June, compared with an earlier forecast of July to August.

Toyota's June output will be about 70 per cent of normal levels, the company said.

Toyota resumed output at all its Japan plants at half of normal capacity on April 18. All its factories were closed for two weeks following the quake.

Toyota said it expects its global output to return to normal by November or December. Shortages of parts including electronic components, rubber and plastics are hampering the recovery.

Honda said on April 28 that its fourth-quarter net income dropped 38 per cent to 44.5 billion yen for the three months to March 31.

Nissan reports earnings tomorrow.

 

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