(Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) is likely to have secured a group operating profit of about 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion) in April-June, thanks to solid sales and a sharp recovery from the previous year’s loss, the Nikkei business daily said on Sunday.
But the automaker, which had a loss of 194.8 billion yen in the same period last year, is likely to keep its annual profit forecast unchanged due to uncertainty over the European and U.S. economies, the report also said, without citing sources.
Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, has been plagued since last September by a crisis over safety and equipment that has led to the recall of more than 10 million vehicles globally.
Toyota and rival Honda Motor (7267.T) have also been hit by strikes in the past few months at Chinese plants providing parts. Both makers suspended production in China to varying degrees due to supply shortages caused by strikes.
But strong sales in emerging or resource-rich countries, such as in the Middle East, helped Toyota shake off negative factors, including a stronger yen.
Toyota, which competes with global peers such as General Motors GM.UL or Ford Motor (F.N), also saw strong sales of its Prius hybrid model in Japan, the Nikkei report said.
In the three months to June, the Toyota Group — including Hino Motors Ltd (7205.T) and Daihatsu Motor Co (7262.T) — sold between 1.8 million and 1.9 million vehicles, about 30 percent more than a year earlier, the report said.
Toyota’s sales are also picking up in North America after being hurt by the mass recalls, the paper said.
The automaker’s sales could lose some steam later in the year, however, as the Japanese government ends subsidies on purchasing so-called eco cars in September, the paper said.
Toyota officials were not immediately available for comment.
Toyota projects an operating profit of 280 billion yen for the current fiscal year to March, up 90 percent from the previous year.
(Reporting by Mariko Katsumura; Editing by Ron Popeski)