TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (>> Toyota Motor Corp.), Japan's top automaker, said quarterly operating profit jumped more than five-fold to $3 billion and would treble in the current year as vehicle production roars back from post-disaster lows.
January-March operating profit increased to 238.5 billion yen beating a consensus estimate of 223 billion yen in a survey of 23 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Fourth-quarter net profit jumped to 121 billion yen from 25.4 billion yen a year ago.
For the year to next March, Toyota forecast operating profit would rise to 1 trillion yen ($12.54 billion), its highest since the global financial crisis. Consensus forecasts have been for a full-year profit of 990 billion yen.
Toyota shares have gained more than a third since the broad market trough in late-November, outperforming local rivals Nissan (>> Nissan Motor) and Honda (>> Honda Motor), U.S. competitors General Motors (>> General Motors Company) and Ford (>> Ford Motor Company) and Volkswagen (>> Volkswagen AG), but lagging BMW's (>> Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) 41 percent jump. The main Topix share index <.TOPX> is up by a tenth over the same period.
($1 = 79.7750 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)