Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday its operating profit rose 36.3 percent to 3 trillion yen ($23 billion) in the last fiscal year, the highest on record for a Japanese company, boosted by a sales recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the weakening yen against the U.S. dollar.
The world's biggest automaker by volume posted a record net profit of 2.85 trillion yen in the year ended March 31, up 26.9 percent from the previous year, as the positive factors offset the impact of production disruptions caused by a global chip crunch and supply chain constraints.
Sales climbed 15.3 percent to a record 31.38 trillion yen, due to brisk business in such markets as the United States and Asia.
The latest operating profit of the auto giant, which currently reports earnings based on International Financial Reporting Standards, was the highest level on record for a Japanese company, according to Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co.
It exceeded the previous high of 2.85 trillion yen, also marked by Toyota in fiscal 2015 under the U.S. accounting standards.
"We believe this is a result of 13 years of efforts (since the 2008 global financial crisis) to improve our business structure," Toyota Chief Financial Officer Kenta Kon said at a press conference.
The company's revenue was additionally boosted by the yen's depreciation against the U.S. dollar.
Toyota put its assumed exchange rate for the U.S. dollar at 115 yen for this fiscal year, higher than the previous year's rate of 112 yen. A weaker yen has been proving a boon to automakers as their overseas profits are boosted when repatriated.
For the current business year through next March, Toyota said it expects its net profit to fall 20.7 percent from the previous year to 2.26 trillion yen, and operating profit to drop 19.9 percent to 2.40 trillion yen.
The automaker, meanwhile, forecast its sales will rise 5.2 percent to 33 trillion yen.
Although its revenue for the business year was supported by the yen's weakness, the currency's effects are expected to be mitigated in fiscal 2022 by surging raw material prices, which are forecast to weigh on the operating profit by 1.45 trillion yen.
The company also recognized the myriad risks in the upcoming year including semiconductors shortages, COVID-19 restrictions in China as well as the prolonged Ukraine crisis.
Although Toyota believes the overall global downward trend in coronavirus cases will provide a positive push for its revenue, the situation in Ukraine will likely lead to a fall in the automaker's performance in the European market, according to Chief Communication Officer Jun Nagata.
Toyota has been forced to halt operations at its plants in the past months, most recently announcing on Tuesday a suspension in the operations of 14 lines at eight factories in Japan for up to six days this month as it struggles to procure parts due to the coronavirus lockdown in Shanghai.
Toyota aims to sell 10.70 million vehicles worldwide in fiscal 2022, up from the 10.38 million a year earlier, including vehicles sold by its subsidiaries -- minivehicle manufacturer Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd.
Meanwhile, in regards to its subsidiary Hino's fraudulent-emissions scandal, Kon apologized for the loss in trust the incident caused.
The truck maker came under fire in March after it admitted to having submitted fraudulent emissions and fuel economy data to transport authorities, suspending the same day the shipment of vehicles with engines for which the figures were utilized and may not meet Japanese standards.
Rival domestic automakers Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. are slated to release their earnings for the fiscal year on Thursday and Friday, respectively.