TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese car giant Toyota on Friday posted a record first-quarter net profit but warned that threatened US sanctions on the auto sector could have a “very big’’ impact on earnings.
The firm added that ongoing trade frictions between the US and China, as well as Washington’s tariffs on metal imports, would also eat into its bottom line.
US President Donald Trump has unsettled rivals and allies alike with harsh trade rhetoric and a raft of tariffs that have affected sectors ranging from agriculture to auto.
Toyota said strong sales in the US and Asia, helped boost profits 7.2 percent to 657.3 billion yen ($5.9 billion) in April-June, its highest-ever first-quarter result.
Operating profit jumped 18.9 percent to 682.7 billion yen, with sales up 4.5 percent at 7.4 trillion yen.
But it maintained a forecast for net profit to fall 15 percent for the fiscal year to March 2019, with lingering concerns about threatened auto tariffs and raw material costs rising amid trade tensions.
‘’On trade issues, we are expecting profits will decline by 10 billion yen because of (higher costs of) steel and aluminium in North America,’’ Toyota senior managing director Masayoshi Shirayanagi, told reporters.