Tokyo: Japan's top automaker Toyota reported Thursday a 1 per cent rise in July-September profit as vehicle sales grew around the world.
Toyota Motor Corporation's profit for the second fiscal quarter totaled 592 billion yen (USD 5.4 billion), up from 585 billion yen last year.
Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Corolla subcompact and Lexus luxury models, stuck to its net profit forecast for the fiscal year through March 2020, at 2.15 trillion yen (USD 20 billion).
That would be an improvement over the 1.88 trillion yen earned in the year ended in March.
Vehicle sales for the latest quarter grew not only in Japan but also overseas, including the US, the rest of Asia and Europe.
Quarterly sales rose 4 per cent to 7.6 trillion yen (USD 70 billion), compared to the previous year.
Toyota said it expects to sell 10.7 million vehicles globally for the fiscal year through March 2020, up from 10.6 million vehicles the previous fiscal year.
Like most Japanese exporters, Toyota has been hurt by a strengthening yen. But the results show Toyota is holding up despite such negatives.
For the fiscal first half, cost cuts and marketing efforts offset the negative impact from an unfavorable exchange rate, according to Toyota.
Toyota also said it will buy back up to 200 billion yen (USD 1.8 billion) worth, or 34 million shares, of the company's common stock.
Toyota officials have stressed the company wants to transition into a "mobility company." That means it has its eyes on the future, when consumers may opt for new ways of car ownership like car-sharing, or choose futuristic electric vehicles instead of automobiles common today that run on gasoline.
"We are in a phase of transforming ourselves to a mobility company and proactively undertaking investments for the future and creating friends," Toyota operating officer Kenta Kon said.
Although Kon did not go into details, the "friends" Toyota has been courting lately in partnerships include those historically not associated with the traditional auto industry, such as robotics and internet companies....