AFP - Toyota Motor, the world's biggest automaker, is expected to suffer a second consecutive annual loss because of the global economic slump and a stronger yen, Japan's Nikkei daily reported Sunday.
Toyota's group operating loss may top 500 billion yen (five billion dollars) for the current fiscal year which started April 1, the business daily said.
It would be the second straight operating loss, as the company has already warned that it expects an operating loss of 450 billion yen, its first ever, for the fiscal year to March 31.
Revenue for the current year is expected to fall to around 20 trillion yen, down from an estimated 21 trillion yen for the year before, the Nikkei said.
Toyota group auto sales are now estimated at 6.5 million vehicles for the fiscal year just started -- which, if confirmed, would be the first time they have fallen below seven million units, it said.
That forecast is mainly due to a delay in recovery of the US auto industry, with the Japanese and European auto markets also expected to remain stagnant, and the impact of a strong yen against the dollar and the euro.
A strong yen lowers the competitiveness of Japanese products overseas.
Toyota overtook General Motors last year to become the world's top-selling automaker, but only because the US giant's sales fell faster than its own.
The Japanese company has moved to lower production, cut jobs and appoint a new president from its founding family in response to the crisis, its biggest ever.