Toyota operating profit down 52 percent

Reuters

TOKYO, May 11 - Toyota Motor Corp posted a 52 percent fall in quarterly operating profit on Wednesday and gave no annual forecasts, as expected, as it struggles to measure the scope of the disruption to production after the March 11 earthquake.

The world's biggest automaker is facing another tough year as a severe shortage of parts caused by Japan's biggest earthquake on record hammers production just as it was putting its recall woes behind it.

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Toyota has said it expects to return to full production by November or December from less than half of planned volumes now, but has stopped short of specifying how fast it would get there. It denied a Nikkei newspaper report on Tuesday that normal production would come two to three months earlier than planned.

Toyota said on Wednesday its January-March operating profit was 46.1 billion yen ($570 million) , compared with an average estimate of 94.6 billion yen from 17 analysts who revised their numbers after the quake, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Fourth-quarter net profit, which includes earnings made in China, fell 77 percent to 25.4 billion yen.

Toyota's shares have led a fall in Japanese auto stocks since the disaster, losing 11 percent compared with 9.9 percent at Honda and 5.8 percent at Nissan as of Tuesday's close. ($1 = 80.835 Japanese Yen)

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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