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Toyota beats forecasts

Toyota beat forecasts with a fourth quarter profit yesterday as it cut costs and used aggressive sales incentives to draw US customers back to showrooms after its worst recall crisis. The company had flagged a small operating loss for last year, estimating a $2bn (£1.3bn) hit from lost sales from the damage to its brand and the recall costs. Instead, annual operating profit came to 147.5bn yen (£1bn), bouncing back from a loss of 461bn yen in 2008/09. Toyota booked an operating profit of 95.3bn yen in January to March, marking a third straight quarterly profit and a swing from the 682.5bn yen loss a year earlier.