Toyota Motor Corp eked out its smallest quarterly profit in nine years as the coronavirus pandemic halved its car sales and nearly wiped out its bottom line.
However, shares in Japan’s top automaker rose 2.3% in a weaker broader market as analysts had expected a loss, while comments from a company spokesman on a faster-than-expected sales recovery also provided support. Toyota’s operating profit plunged 98% to 13.9 billion yen ($131.73 million) for the three months ended June, better than a consensus estimate for a loss of 179 billion yen drawn from a Refinitiv poll of seven analysts. The sharply lower earnings underlines the challenges the auto industry is facing because of the pandemic that has shuttered factories and kept customers out of dealerships. Toyota reiterated its annual operating profit forecast of 500 billion yen, its weakest in nine years, arguing that the coronavirus could still hurt its brighter sales outlook.
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