Toyota's (TM) Profit Clobbered, Cuts Sales Forecasts Again

Toyota (TM) reported its largest year-over-year decline in net profit in five years, hurt by waning demand for SUVs and light trucks in the U.S., where sales are down 12% industrywide. Toyota was also hurt by a stronger Yen and higher material costs. Toyota reiterated its dismal outlook for the rest of the year. WSJ:

Toyota maintained a bleak forecast for the year, saying it expects net income for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009, to tumble 27% to ¥1.25 trillion. But the company Thursday trimmed its sales forecasts for the fiscal year to 8.74 million vehicles from 9.06 million.

As sales continue to slip in the U.S., Toyota Executive Vice President Mitsuo Kinoshita said it would be difficult for the auto maker to reach its ambitious target of selling 10.4 million vehicles annually by 2009. “That number will not hold,” he said.

Toyota is suffering from the same problems that General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) are facing, only on a much smaller scale. Like GM and Ford, Toyota was hit by slackening demand for SUVs and Light Trucks. Unlike GM and Ford, however, Toyota has many other more popular light vehicles to fall back on.

The company posted net income of 353.7 billion Yen, lower than the 491.5 billion Yen recorded a year ago, but higher than the 329 billion Yen mean estimate. Sales fell almost 5% to 6.22 trillion Yen.

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