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Profits Tumble At Toyota

TOKYO (AP) - Toyota, the world's largest automaker, sank into a
loss for the fiscal third quarter and lowered its forecast Friday
for the full year to a 350 billion yen ($3.9 billion) net loss,
blaming the global economic slump that has eaten away at auto
sales.

Toyota Motor Corp. also said a surging yen contributed to its
164.7 billion yen loss for the October-December period - a reversal
from the 458.6 billion yen profit it had the same period the
previous year.

In December, Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid and Lexus
luxury car, said it had expected to eke out a small net profit of
50 billion yen for the fiscal year through March. It now
acknowledged it expects a loss. That's a stunning reversal from the
record 1.72 trillion yen it earned the previous fiscal year.

Sales for the October-December quarter plunged 28.4 percent to
4.8 trillion yen.

Toyota's global vehicle sales shrank by 443,000 vehicles from
the same period a year earlier to 1.84 million, as sales dropped
throughout the world, including North America, Europe, Japan and
other Asian nations, it said.

"Both revenues and profits declined severely during this
period," Toyota Executive Vice President Mitsuo Kinoshita said of
the latest quarter.

Conditions were especially tough in the U.S. and Europe, and the
rapid rise of the yen, which reduces the value of overseas
earnings, also hurt results, he said.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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