By YURI KAGEYAMA
TOKYO (AP) — Toyota’s profit fell 31% in the January-March quarter from a year earlier, but the Japanese automaker still wrapped up a year of record profits.
Toyota Motor Corp. reported last-quarter profit of 533.8 billion yen ($4.1 billion) on Wednesday, down from 777.1 billion yen a year earlier. Quarterly sales rose nearly 6% to 8.1 trillion yen ($62 billion).
Toyota and other automakers are struggling to meet customer demand for their products due to parts shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The company still sold 8.2 million vehicles worldwide in the fiscal year to March, down from 7.6 million vehicles in the previous fiscal year.
For the fiscal year, Toyota made a profit of 2.85 trillion yen ($21.9 billion), up nearly 27% from 2.25 trillion yen a year earlier.
Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Lexus luxury models and the Camry sedan, said its profits were boosted by a favorable exchange rate. A weaker yen helps improve the performance of Japanese exporters like Toyota when overseas revenues are converted into yen.
Toyota’s operating profit increased in global markets, including Japan, North America, Europe and the rest of Asia. The company said it expects vehicle sales to increase across all regions in the coming months. It also plans to boost electric vehicle sales as customers become more interested in green vehicles and sustainability goals.
For the fiscal year to March 2023, Toyota forecast a profit of 2.26 trillion yen ($17 billion), down 20% from the fiscal year that ended in March. It expects soaring material costs to squeeze its profits.
Toyota, based in the city of Toyota in central Japan, warned that the various effects of COVID-19 have hurt its operations and added uncertainty about what lies ahead.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama