Toyota racks up a record first half

TOKYO - For the second time in six months, Toyota Motor Corp. raised its export plans and cut its Japan-market sales forecast.

Toyota said last week that it plans to export 1.68 million vehicles in the fiscal year ending March 31, up from a forecast of 1.58 million in May and 1.65 million in July.

The total still would be 1.4 percent below the year-earlier level of 1.70 million.

At the same time, Toyota trimmed its full fiscal-year forecast for sales in Japan to 1.82 million vehicles from forecasts of 1.89 million in May and 1.88 million in July. That would be about flat from sales of 1.81 million in the year ended March 31, 2001.

The forecasts came as Toyota reported record first-half revenue and net income for the six months ended Sept. 30.

Net income surged 82.4 percent from a year earlier to 291.1 billion, or $2.44 billion at current exchange rates, while revenue rose 6.4 percent to $57.23 billion.

Operating income rose 34.7 percent to $4.243 billion.

The company said a $1.42 billion currency gain in the period was almost completely erased by higher costs for labor, r&d and information technology.

Separately, Daihatsu Motor Co., owned 51 percent by the Japanese auto giant, said first half consolidated operating income fell 12.4 percent to $88.1 million. But net income edged up 0.8 percent to $44.3 million and revenue eked out a 0.3-percent rise to $3.99 billion.

Daihatsu said it built fewer vehicles under contract for Toyota in the period.

You can reach James B. Treece at jtreece@crain.com

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