Toyota Motor Corp on Friday lifted its annual net profit forecast by 8 per cent to 1.48 trillion yen ($14.9 billion) for the current financial year because of the yen’s depreciation and strong sales in the United States.

Toyota also raised its operating profit outlook to 1.94 trillion yen for the year through March 31, 2014, from an estimate of 1.8 trillion yen three months ago. Sales were predicted at 24 trillion yen, up 2.1 per cent from the prediction in May.

For the April-to-June quarter, Japan’s largest carmaker nearly doubled its net profit to 562.2 billion yen compared to the same period last year.

Toyota logged an operating profit of 663.4 billion yen in the April-to-June quarter, up 88 per cent from 353.1 billion yen a year ago, while sales rose 13.7 per cent to 6.26 trillion yen.

“Our efforts to improve profitability since the Lehman shock have started to bear fruit,” the company’s managing officer Takuo Sasaki told a news conference, referring to the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holding Inc, which helped trigger a global financial crisis in 2008.

The Japanese carmaker will remain cautious about the outlook for emerging economies in Asia amid concerns about an economic slowdown there, Sasaki added.

The yen has declined about 20 per cent against the dollar since the end of November. The depreciation makes Japanese goods more competitive abroad and improves repatriated revenues.

Toyota also said the company and its subsidiaries would produce 10.12 million vehicles worldwide for the financial year, up 2 per cent from 9.94 million vehicles it had estimated three months ago.

Last week, the Toyota group said it sold 4.91 million vehicles in the first half of this year, making it the world’s top-selling carmaker.

The group’s total sales volume edged down 1.2 per cent from a year earlier in the January-to-June period, however, overseas sales rose 2.4 per cent to 3.74 million units partly due to a strong showing in the United States, its largest market.

Shares in Toyota closed up 3.38 per cent Friday ahead of the earnings report, which was released after the markets closed.

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