Toyota posts record yearly net income, revenue

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Toyota said Wednesday that it enjoyed a record net profit of 4.94 trillion yen ($31.9 billion) in the year to March on revenues of 45.1 trillion yen, which was also an all-time high.

But the world’s largest automaker by sales warned net income would fall 27.8 percent this financial year to 3.57 trillion yen because of investments, according to a statement.

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The results for 2023-24 were helped by foreign currency effects, in particular the weak yen, as well as brisk sales, notably of hybrid vehicles.

They exceeded the firm’s forecast given in February of net profit of 4.5 trillion yen on revenues of 43.5 trillion yen.

Toyota’s previous record annual net profit was 2.85 trillion yen in 2021-22. For revenues it was 37.15 trillion yen the following fiscal year.

Last month Toyota said it sold 11.1 million vehicles across all brands in the 2023-24 fiscal year, up five percent and the first time they have exceeded 10 million.

A big factor was a 31-percent jump to 3.7 million in sales of hybrid vehicles -- combining internal combustion engines and batteries -- like the Corolla compact car and the RAV4 sports utility vehicle.

Sales of purely electric car sales were a much more modest 116,500.

Toyota pioneered hybrid cars with its popular Prius model, but critics say the company has been slow to embrace purely battery-powered engines, even as demand soars for low-emission vehicles.

Japanese automakers are now attempting to play catch-up, with Toyota aiming to sell 1.5 million EVs annually by 2026 and 3.5 million by 2030.

The company is also hoping to mass-produce solid-state batteries, a potentially hugely important technological breakthrough that could mean faster charging times and greater range.

In 2023, China overtook Japan as the world’s biggest vehicle exporter, a change fueled by the country’s dominance in electric cars.

Toyota was also left standing by Elon Musk’s EV giant Tesla in terms of market value, although the gap -- almost $1 trillion in 2021 -- has narrowed sharply.

Toyota’s market capitalization has soared 34 percent this year, while that of Tesla -- which sold 1.8 million vehicles last year -- has dived 28 percent over the same period.

In China, the world’s biggest electric car market where local firms such as BYD dominate, Toyota only sold 1.9 million vehicles, a rise of 1.4 percent.

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