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Toyota Q4 operating profit jumps, sees more growth

Written by: Staff

TOKYO, May 10 (Reuters) Toyota Motor Corp., the world's most profitable car maker, posted a 53.2 percent rise in quarterly operating profit on Wednesday, boosted by healthy sales, cost cuts and a weaker yen, and it forecast more growth this year as it adds production capacity around the globe.

Japan's top auto maker said operating profit rose to 586.70 billion yen (.28 billion) in its January-March fourth quarter, beating a mean estimate of 493.7 billion yen in a survey of 21 brokerages by Reuters Estimates.

Net profit climbed 39 percent to 404.10 billion yen.

Compiling group-based earnings forecasts for the first time, the maker of fuel-saving Prius hybrid cars forecast operating profit for the year to end-March 2007 would grow to 1.90 trillion yen from 1.88 trillion yen in the year just ended.

Market forecasts put Toyota's operating profit at 2.013 trillion yen for 2006/07 -- a year that could see it overtake General Motors Corp. as the world's biggest auto maker by sales volume.

Shares in Toyota gained 5.1 percent in the January-March quarter, underperforming a 7.4 percent rise in Tokyo's transport sector subindex ITEQP.


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