8 May 2009

Toyota posts first annual loss

9:15 pm on 8 May 2009

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

The Japanese company said it made a net loss of 436.94 billion yen ($US4.4 billion) in the year to 31 March, compared with a record profit the year before.

Toyota said expected to make a bigger loss in the current financial year.

Like many of its rivals, Toyota has cut production 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," Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe said.

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 550 billion yen in the financial year ending in March 2010.