Toyota expects a strong finish for this fiscal year, predicting record profits boosted by a weaker yen and strong SUV sales in the U.S.
For July through September, Toyota's net profit rose 23 percent to ¥539 billion yen, or $4.7 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. Vehicle sales totaled 4,476,522 units, an increase of 8,761 units year over year, Toyota said.
"The yen's weakening certainly helped, but the revision also stems from our efforts to cut costs and improve sales," said Nobuyori Kodaira, Toyota's executive vice president, as quoted by the Journal.
After unexpected monetary easing by the Bank of Japan on Friday, the yen is close to its lowest level since December 2007.
Toyota saw weaker sales in Asia and trimmed its projection for vehicles sales for the year based on that performance.
"In addition to cost reduction efforts and favorable foreign exchange rates, valuation gains and losses mainly from interest-rate swaps were positive factors," Kodaira said in a statement. "However, changes in model mix and increases in expenses had a negative impact."
Sales in North America, which is Toyota's biggest market, increased 12 percent to 685,000 vehicles. For the quarter, the area's regional operating profit jumped 70 percent to 139.3 billion yen, $1.27 billion, compared with the previous year.
"The U.S. market is very good," said Kodaira, as quoted by Automotive News. "Going into next year, we expect growth as well."
Toyota President Akio Toyoda's decision that the company make at least three million vehicles annually in Japan was earlier criticized by analysts but has proven fruitful. The world's biggest automaker based on sales, Toyota manufactures around 40 percent of its vehicles in Japan, exporting a bit more than half of those.