Friday, June 10, 2011

Toyota forecasts 35% profit slide after quake

Toyota Motor Corp forecast a larger-than-expected 35% fall in annual profit on Friday, June 10 and warned that the strong yen was making it difficult to justify keeping production in Japan.

Toyota has struggled to restore output after a massive 9.0 earthquake in March rocked northeastern Japan and forced automakers to slash output. The ensuing nuclear disaster and power shortages have compounded their woes.

The production disruption will likely see Toyota lose its title as the world's largest automaker this year.

"This is probably another conservative estimate from Toyota, but it's predicting a loss in the fiscal first half so we can tell how serious the damage from the earthquake was," said Koichi Ogawa, chief portfolio manager at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo, adding that shares in the company may fall on Monday.

Toyota reiterated its plan to restore output to pre-quake levels by November, helped by a recovery in the supply chain for key parts, and expressed confidence it could claw back market share lost as a result of the quake.

In an encouraging sign for automakers, chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp said on Friday it now expected to restore supply capacity lost due to quake damage by the end of September, one month earlier than previously planned.

Renesas, the world's biggest maker of microcontrollers, had become one of the biggest bottlenecks in the automotive supply chain that forced car firms to curb production.

Now I know Renesas's main business product :) Let's hope everyone over at the affected Japan will have their life back to normal soon...

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