Japan's Toyota says profit soared in Jan-March amid pandemic

The company logo adorns a sign outside a Toyota dealership Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Lakewood, Colo. Toyota reported Wednesday, May 12, 2021, its January-March profit more than doubled from the previous year to 777 billion yen ($7 billion), as the Japanese automakers sales gradually recovered from the damage of the coronavirus pandemic.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
The company logo adorns a sign outside a Toyota dealership Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Lakewood, Colo. Toyota reported Wednesday, May 12, 2021, its January-March profit more than doubled from the previous year to 777 billion yen ($7 billion), as the Japanese automakers sales gradually recovered from the damage of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TOKYO – Toyota reported Wednesday its profit more than doubled in January-March from a year earlier to 777 billion yen ($7 billion), as the Japanese automaker’s sales recovered from the pandemic.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s profit in January-March 2020 was 327 billion yen. Quarterly sales rose 11% on year to nearly 7.7 trillion yen ($71 billion) from 6.9 trillion yen a year earlier, the company said.

The pandemic has dented sales and demand in many businesses, but Toyota has shown resilience while riding out a global shortage of semiconductors that’s slammed many automakers.

In the fiscal year that ended in March, Toyota’s profits rose 10% to 2.25 trillion yen ($20.6 billion) from 2.04 trillion yen the previous year. Sales for the fiscal year slipped nearly 9% to 27 trillion yen ($248 billion).

Cost-cutting efforts helped keep it in the black, said the manufacturer of the Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury models, which is based in Toyota city, central Japan.

Toyota is forecasting a 2.3 trillion yen ($21 billion) profit and 30 trillion yen ($276 billion) in sales for the fiscal year through March 2022. The company expects vehicle sales to recover both in Japan and abroad.

Toyota and Lexus brand vehicle sales are projected at 9.6 million vehicles for this fiscal year, up from nearly 9.1 million units for the last fiscal year.

The company said it expects to sell 2.8 million electric vehicles, up 130% from a year earlier.