Wednesday 4 August 2021 7:15 am

Toyota drives operating profit up to record $9.2bn as sales make strong recovery

Toyota posted a record Q1 operating profit of 997.49bn yen, or $9.15bn (£6.5bn), on Wednesday but did not alter its annual forecast, as sales recovered from pandemic lows but the carmaker cited “uncertainties” ahead.

The Japanese carmaker weathered the global chip supply shortage better than many rivals, and sprinted past analysts’ average expectations of a 752bn yen operating profit in the three months to 30 June, according to data from Refinitiv.

Sales surged 72.5 per cent to 7.9 trillion yen.

“The first quarter results were the result of maintaining stable sales and supply together with our suppliers and dealerships, despite the semiconductor shortage and spread of COVID-19,” the carmaker said in a statement.

It marks a significant recovery from the same period a year earlier, when it reported its weakest first quarter in nine years at 13.9bn yen ($131.73 million) operating profit, as the pandemic halved sales and caused factory closures.

But Toyota maintained its full-year operating profit forecast of 2.5tn yen, citing “uncertainties in and after the second quarter” due to high coronavirus cases in emerging economies, a higher cost for parts, and the ongoing chip shortage which has started to cause some disruption for the company.

Toyota shares fell 2 per cent in afternoon trading on Wednesday.