Page last updated at 07:03 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Toyota triples year loss forecast

Toyota showroom in Tokyo, Japan - 19/12/2008
Toyota has suffered from falling demand in the downturn

The world's biggest carmaker, Toyota, has widened its predicted loss for 2008 after demand for its cars slumped.

In December, Toyota predicted it would make a full year operating loss of 150bn yen ($1.65bn; 1.13bn).

The Japanese car giant has now tripled that figure and expects to make a 450bn yen operating loss, the first annual loss at the firm in 70 years.

Although it has not suffered as badly as its US rivals, Toyota has still been hit by falling demand in the downturn.

The strengthening yen has also hit its profitability, by depreciating its overseas earnings.

In expanding its loss prediction for the year, Toyota also said it made a loss of 164.7bn yen in the three months from October to December.

Production cut

Toyota has also lowered its forecast for vehicle sales for the whole group for the 2008/09 financial year to 7.32 million from 7.54 million.

It had sold 8.913 million vehicles in the year to the end of March 2008.

In December, Toyota boss Katsuaki Watanabe said the current downturn was of a size that comes only: "once in a hundred years".

Toyota is cutting work to a single shift on 17 production lines lines out of its 75 around the world at different times in January and February.

It is also closing all Japanese factories for a total of 14 days between January and March.

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