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Toyota swings to profit, raises outlook

By Grace Wong, contributor

LONDON (CNNMoney.com) -- Toyota Motor Corp., just months off a recall crisis in the United States, said Wednesday that it swung to a profit in its latest quarter and boosted its full-year sales outlook.

The automaker posted a net income of $2.2 billion (¥190.4 billion) for its fiscal first quarter, which ended June 30. Toyota posted a net loss of $899 million in the same period last year.

The company's quarterly results were driven by strong sales in Asia. Excluding Japan, Toyota sold 285,000 vehicles in the region -- up 47% from a year earlier.

Toyota (TM) also saw gains in North America, where it sold 526,000 vehicles, up nearly 36% from the prior-year period.

However, the company could have trouble maintaining growth in North America, as the most recent auto sales show consumers in the United States are still wary about buying new vehicles.

Toyota, which has been hit by a wave of recalls, saw its U.S. sales slip 3% in July from a year earlier.

In terms of global sales, the Japanese automaker offered an upbeat outlook, saying it expects to sell 7.4 million vehicles worldwide during the year, compared to 7.2 million in 2010.

On the back of its strong first-quarter results, it also raised its profit and revenue forecasts for the year.

For the next fiscal year ending in March 2011, Toyota expects net income to reach $3.9 billion and for revenue to rise to $226 billion.

That compares to its earlier forecast of a full-year net income of $3.6 billion on sales of $223 billion.

However, Toyota noted that foreign exchange fluctuations and the end of incentives in Japan could affect its business. To top of page

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