Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> said on Friday it lost $6.9 billion in the final quarter and forecast increasing losses this financial year as sales continue to tumble, keeping dozens of its factories underused.

The world's biggest automaker reported a January-March operating loss of 682.5 billion yen ($6.9 billion), versus a 396.7 billion yen profit a year earlier but in line with a consensus estimate for a loss of 689 billion yen in a survey of 21 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

It lost a net 765.8 billion yen in the fourth quarter, down from a profit of 316.8 billion yen a year ago.

The global economic downturn that has battered demand for cars and pushed U.S. rival Chrysler into bankruptcy has hit Toyota badly as it went from rapid expansion to overcapacity almost overnight.

Toyota posted its first-ever consolidated operating loss last year after a record profit the year before.

For the year to next March, the maker of Prius hybrid cars forecast an operating loss of 850 billion yen. A survey of 20 analysts by Thomson Reuters had previously given an average forecast for a 387 billion yen loss.

Shares of Toyota have risen 39 percent so far this year, underperforming a 47 percent rise on Tokyo's transport sub-index <.ITEQP.T>.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim, editing by Ian Geoghegan)