TOKYO: Toyota Motor Corp plans a $1.8 billion share buyback, Japan’s biggest automaker said, after beating quarterly forecasts on higher global vehicle sales and an improved performance in North America.
Operating profit rose 14 percent to 662.3 billion yen ($6.1 billion) for the three months to Sept. 30 as Toyota enjoyed its strongest second quarter since 2015.
The profit beat an average forecast of 592.3 billion yen, based on estimates from nine analysts, Refinitiv data showed.
It sold 2.75 million vehicles globally, up from 2.18 million a year earlier.
Sales in North America, Toyota’s biggest market, rose 5.6 percent, while sales in Asia climbed 3.4 percent. Operating profit in North America, which has been a sore spot for Toyota over the past two years, more than doubled helped by less discounting.
“New models of the RAV4 and the Corolla, as well as last year’s Camry, have been well received in North America, so we’ve been able to lower incentives,” Operating Officer Kenta Kon said.
Toyota said it would buy back up to $1.8 billion worth of its common stock, or 34 million shares, by end-March.
It maintained its forecast for operating profit in the year to March to fall 2.7 percent, after three years of gains, as it expects a strengthening yen to weigh.
It lowered its forecast for annual global car sales by 2.7 percent to 10.7 million units, weighed by weakening demand in India, Indonesia and Thailand. Still, it expects record sales topping last year’s 10.6 million.
Toyota’s projected profit slip is subdued versus smaller rivals including Mitsubishi Motors, Subaru and Mazda, which have slashed their full-year outlooks by up to 67 percent this month amid weaker demand for their cars.
Many of them acknowledge they are struggling to contain costs.