Toyota plans $1.8bn share buyback after strong Q2

Toyota Motor Corp. has 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. (AFP)
Updated 07 November 2019

Toyota plans $1.8bn share buyback after strong Q2

  • Operating profit rises 14% as automaker enjoys its strongest second quarter since 2015

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.


Algeria to cap wheat imports in bid to save foreign currency

Updated 21 November 2019

Algeria to cap wheat imports in bid to save foreign currency

  • Algeria is one of the world’s biggest buyers of the commodity
TUNIS: Algeria has decided to cap soft wheat imports at 4 million tons a year, instead of 6.2 million tons, the government said in a statement.

The decision aims to “preserve foreign currency and reduce Algerian imports of cereals, especially soft wheat,” it said in the statement late on Wednesday.

The government has also set the actual needs of the domestic market for soft wheat at 4 million tons instead of 6.2 tons imported each year, it added.

Algeria is one of the world’s biggest buyers of the commodity. However, hit by lower oil prices since 2014, it is trying to reduce its imports.