Toyota profit drops on virus outbreak but recovery expected

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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE- This Feb. 15, 2018, file photo shows the Toyota logo on the trunk of a 2018 Toyota Prius on display at the Pittsburgh Auto Show. Toyota Motor Corp. reported Tuesday, May 12, 2020 a sharp plunge in fiscal fourth quarter profit as the global pandemic slammed vehicle sales and halted production at its auto plants. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

TOKYO – Toyota Motor Corp. reported Tuesday a sharp plunge in fiscal fourth quarter profit as the global pandemic slammed vehicle sales and halted production at its auto plants.

Japan's top automaker logged a net profit of 63.1 billion yen ($590 million) for the quarter ended in March, nose-diving 86% from 459.5 billion yen for the same period the year before.

Quarterly sales slipped 8% to 7.1 trillion yen ($66 billion) from 7.8 trillion yen a year ago.

President Akio Toyoda said the company is facing its biggest crisis since the global financial crisis, stressing how hard it had been just to report financial results.

But he said Toyota was learning to grow leaner and make a fresh start.

Toyota is striving to be reliable and needed by the world, he said. Toyoda promised to protect jobs and what he called “Toyota people,” the workers around the world, not just in Japan, with their skills and shared sense of mission.

“We feel no doubt, and we are not shaken in this belief,” he said.

Damage from COVID-19 cost Toyota 145 billion yen ($1.4 billion) in operating profit for the latest quarter, offsetting cost cuts, the company said.