• Japan carmakers step on profit accelerator

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    TOKYO: Japanese carmakers are stepping on the profit accelerator as a weak yen, recovering US demand and the fading impact of a consumer boycott in China boost their bottom line.

    The sector’s buoyant half-year results underscore a firm recovery after the 2011 quake and tsunami devastated sales and production, and highlight a rebound in demand from some key markets. However a sharp decline in the yen over the past year was the key driver behind bumper profits.

    Toyota acknowledged the currency’s impact as it said net profit in the six months to September soared 82.5 percent. Japan’s most valuable company also raised its annual earnings forecast. The company said it expects to sell 9.1 million vehicles in the year to March 2014.

    Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, was the last of Japan’s major carmakers to publish half-year earnings after Honda last week said its net profit soared on the weaker yen and stronger US demand. Suzuki and Mitsubishi Motors also reported upbeat numbers.

    Nissan meanwhile said its half-year net profit rose 6.5 percent while sales rose 14.7 percent from a year earlier.

    AFP

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