Toyota Profit Higher on Strong Sales and Weak Yen

Toyota Motor Corp has reported over a fivefold increase in its profit for the quarter and increased its forecast on earnings. It credited strong sales and a weak yen.

Profits for Toyota during the quarter of October to the end of December was $5.2 billion and better than anticipated, up dramatically from the same period one year ago. Sales for the quarter were up by 24% to $64.2 billion.

Analyst had expected a profit for the quarter of $4.3 billion.

Toyota has been the top selling vehicle maker in the world for the past two years. The Japanese based company raised it sales and profit forecasts for its March ending fiscal year.

The upbeat forecast underlines the continuing recovery by Toyota whose production was rocked by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami back in March of 2011 in Japan.

Sales were also hit hard over negative sentiment towards the Japanese in 2012, when a flare up occurred with its neighbor China, which is also one of its important growth markets.

Before those woes, Toyota suffered a brand image beating by a massive recall problem, which started in the latter stages of 2009 and was mostly for North America. The recall was for defects in brakes, floor mats, gas pedals and other problems.

Toyota, which makes the Lexus luxury line, the Prius hybrid and the Camry, has projected its profit for the fiscal year will be $18.8 billion, a profit that is double that of the March 2013 fiscal year end, and a new record for the company.

The company had expected previously that the U.S. dollar would average only 81 yen, but it now expects that to be 100 yen. Officially, the dollar on Tuesday was trading at just over 101 yen. A weaker yen is beneficial for exporters in Japan by boosting the value of its sales overseas.

The Japanese automaker increased its full year revenue forecast to $252 billion from $248 billion. That is an increase of 16% from the fiscal year from March of 2013.

Its global sales for vehicles remained unchanged for this fiscal year that ends in March. That figure is currently at 10.1 million vehicles.