Page last updated at 09:12 GMT, Friday, 8 May 2009 10:12 UK

Toyota reports worst annual loss

Toyota Crown car unveiled at Shanghai Motor Show
Toyota expects to make an even bigger loss this financial year

Toyota, the world's biggest carmaker, has made its worst annual loss as the global economic downturn has hit demand for its vehicles.

The Japanese company said it made a net loss of 436.94bn yen ($4.4bn; £2.9bn) in the year to 31 March, compared with a record profit the year before.

Toyota said it expected to make a bigger loss in this financial year.

Like many rivals, Toyota has cut production, including at its UK plants, as sales have declined.

Toyota also blamed the loss on high raw materials prices and a strong yen, which makes its cars more expensive overseas.

"Both revenues and profits declined severely during this period," said Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe.

He said the loss "was a consequence of the significant deterioration in vehicle sales, particularly in the US and Europe".

Toyota said it expected to make a net loss of 550bn yen ($5.5bn; £3.7bn) in the financial year ending in March 2010.

"It appears to take some more time before the financial markets in the US and Europe normalise and the global economy recovers," Mr Watanabe said.

Toyota last made a net loss in 1963, a spokeswoman said.

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