Toyota forecasts 64-pct drop in FY 2020 net profit

TOKYO (Xinhua) : Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it expects its net profit to drop 64.1 percent to 730 billion yen (6.92 billion U.S. dollars) in the current business year starting in April, as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to stifle demand.    
 Toyota said its net profit fell 74.3 percent year-on-year to 158.84 billion yen (1.50 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter ended in June, although the decline was less than industry experts' predictions.    
 In the same period, the Aichi Prefecture-based automaker said its operating profit plummeted 98.1 percent to 13.92 billion yen (131.98 million U.S. dollars).    
 This was based on sales of 4.60 trillion yen (43.61 billion U.S. dollars), which marked a 40.4-percent decline, Toyota said.    
 The maker of the popular Prius hybrid and Corolla models saw global sales retreat 31.8 percent in the reporting period, although sales in its Chinese market have seen an uptick, the automaker said.    
 Amid such signs of demand improving, Toyota, as well as maintaining its full-year forecasts made in May for a 500-billion-yen (4.74-billion-U.S. dollar) operating profit and sales amounting 24 trillion yen (227.55 billion U.S. dollars), also raised its annual sales target from 8.9 million to 9.1 million vehicles.