Nov. 8 - Toyota Motor reports worse-than-expected quarterly earnings, withdraws full-year profit forecast due to uncertainty over the impact of floods in Thailand. Arnold Gay reports.
Toyota Motor reported worse-than-expected quarterly earnings Tuesday (November 8), and withdrew its full-year profit forecast due to uncertainty over the impact of floods in Thailand. Executive Vice President Satoshi Ozawa says a new forecast will require greater clarity on the Thai situation. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOYOTA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT SATOSHI OZAWA SAYING: "We are unable to provide the new forecast due to still unclear conditions of floods in Thailand and we need more time to examine the production and sales plans." The ongoing floods have forced Toyota to halt work at its three vehicle plants in Thailand. A shortage of parts has also forced it to reduce production in nine other countries including Japan. Toyota says it will lose about 150,000 vehicles in lost output between October 10th and November 12. Second quarter operating profit fell 32 percent to about 75 billion yen. The $960 million figure is well short of the $1.3 billion that analysts were expecting. Supply disruptions from the March earthquake kept output low, and Japan's top automaker continued to feel the impact of the stubbornly strong yen that makes its cars more expensive. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOYOTA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT SATOSHI OZAWA SAYING: "The recent appreciation of the yen higher than 80 (to a dollar) is a destructive exchange rate for Japan. It destroys the country which has its roots in production, without sustainable domestic resources based mainly on trade and exports." The firm assumes an exchange rate of 85 yen to the dollar, a rate not achieved throughout the July to September period in question. Toyota manufactures and exports 1.5 million cars in Japan, the highest among the country's top automakers. Before the floods hit, Toyota was just starting to ramp up production in September, with overtime and weekends to make up for output lost after the March 11 disaster. Arnold Gay, Reuters.