Japan's Toyota to post $4.3 bln profit

Japanese car giant Toyota Motor will post a full-year operating profit of $4.3 billion, nearly 30 percent above forecast, when it announces its earning results next week, according to a report.

The Nikkei business daily said the firm will reveal operating profit of 350 billion yen in the year to March 31, surpassing the 270 billion yen estimate it gave in February, thanks to strong sales and a weakening yen in recent months.

The firm would also target operating profit to surge to around 800-900 billion yen for the current fiscal year, which would mark a more than doubling on the year, the daily said.

Despite the huge jump, the fiscal 2011 figure would still mark a drop of 25 percent year-on-year as Toyota cut production in the wake of a massive earthquake and tsunami disaster at home and heavy flooding in Thailand.

The effect of the natural disasters wore off mostly by the end of last year, enabling Toyota to increase output from January, the Nikkei noted.

Domestic eco-car subsidies helped to spur sales of its hybrid vehicles while results were solid in North America as well as in emerging markets, it said.

The yen, which hit a record high against the dollar last year, began to weaken in February and March, helping to mitigate an erosion in export profitability, according to the Nikkei.

The report did not mention possible net profit figures.

Toyota is to announce its earnings reuslts on May 9.

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