Toyota on track for record profit as exports rise

TOYOTA is on track to hit the record profit it set before the Lehman crisis after topping up its annual net profit forecast by nearly £1.24bn and outperforming Japanese rivals as its expansion plans bear fruit.

The world’s best-selling carmaker is racking up strong sales in a healthy US market while keeping costs in check and taking a breather from building new facilities, in contrast to Nissan and Honda, which are grappling with heavy expansion costs.

Toyota, one of the most export-reliant Japanese carmakers, is also reaping the benefits of a weakening yen that has boosted its profit margins but acknowledged it will have to start spending more to maintain its advantage.

Toyota credited its conservative strategy as a key factor as it raised its net profit forecast by ¥190bn to ¥1.67 trillion (£10.5bn) for the year ending in March 2014, just short of its record ¥1.72 trillion.