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Toyota Earnings Q3 2011: Automaker's Profit Rises 51 Percent

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TOYOTA EARNINGS Q3 2011
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TOKYO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp reported on Tuesday a forecast-beating 51 percent rise in quarterly operating profit, defying the impact of a strong yen and Thai floods, and lifted its cautious annual forecasts closer to market expectations.

For its October-December fiscal third quarter, operating profit at Japan's top automaker was 149.7 billion yen ($1.95 billion), exceeding the average estimate of 93.9 billion yen from nine analysts polled by Reuters.

Net profit, which includes earnings at its Chinese joint ventures, fell 14 percent to 80.9 billion yen.

For the year to March 31, Toyota lifted its operating profit forecast to 270 billion yen from 200 billion yen, and net profit forecast to 200 billion yen from 180 billion yen.

Consensus forecasts from 23 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S foresee a much higher annual operating profit of 330.8 billion yen.

Thailand's deadly floods last fall came just as Japan's top automaker was beginning to ramp up production to recover the losses from Japan's earthquake in March. Disruption from the floods cost Toyota 260,000 vehicles of lost output worldwide last year.

Toyota has said production returned to normal at all of its factories except in Thailand.

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