Tokyo: Toyota Motor Corp’s loss for this business year will likely be several tens of billions of yen less than originally forecast by the automaker thanks to strong sales of hybrid cars, public broadcaster NHK reported.
Toyota has forecast an operating loss of ¥850 billion ($8.9 billion) for the year to March 2010.
NHK said strong sales of its new Prius and other hybrid vehicles, boosted in part by government tax incentives in Japan to promote fuel-efficient cars, would help narrow its annual loss by several tens of billions of yen.
Analysts have already estimated that Toyota’s loss forecast would prove to be far too pessimistic.
The market consensus is for a loss of ¥474.6 billion, according to the average of 23 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
A Toyota spokeswoman declined to comment.
The company is scheduled to report earnings for the April-June quarter on Tuesday.
Toyota shares rose 1.5% to ¥3,990 on Friday, outperforming a 1% gain in the benchmark Nikkei average.
Earlier this week rivals Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co surprised investors by eking out profits in the latest quarter, and Honda raised its annual operating profit forecast to ¥70 billion from ¥10 billion.