The world’s best-selling automaker, Toyota Motor Corp. (TYO:7203), said Thursday that it expects a drop in net profit for 2015 due to the sharp fall in the yen’s value.
The company said it expects its net profit to fall 2.4 percent to 1.78 trillion yen ($17.5 billion) from the 2.03 trillion yen ($19.9 billion) estimated by Thomson Reuters, which would be the first fall in three years. The company has faced tough challenges for the past five years, including massive recalls, disasters like the tsunami, sales tax hikes, and a boycott by China of all Japanese products.
“I want Toyota to be a company that can continue growing, and that can avoid sharp setbacks or even maintain growth during times of crisis such as the Lehman shock,” Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp., said, according to Reuters. “Sustainable growth is our most important goal, so what is essential is how this lull will lead to growth in the future.”
Toyoda also said it will invest more in research and development to boost competitiveness, as well as focusing on better training for its employees.
For the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ended in March, Toyota reported a net profit of 297 billion yen ($292 million), which was 5.4 percent below analysts' estimates. Toyoda said that it still saw a growing market in North America.
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“Our consolidated operating income increased due to increased vehicle sales mainly in Japan and North America and to groupwide cost-reduction activities,” according to a Toyota statement Thursday that also noted operating income fell in other regions such as Central America.
Toyota expects to sell 2.21 million vehicles in Japan by March 2015, down 6.6 percent from the estimate for 2014. The company is also targeting a 2.1 percent growth in overseas sales and expects to sell 6.89 million vehicles. The company said that it would increase its capital expenditure for 2015 fiscal marginally to 1.02 trillion yen ($11.76 billion) from 1 trillion yen ($9.8 billion) last fiscal year.