Daihatsu Suffers First Profit Fall in Seven Years

Weak demand and stronger yen

Japanese automaker Daihatsu Motor Co., a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp., announced on April 27 its first decline in annual profits in seven years, hit by weak demand and a stronger yen.

Daihatsu said its net earnings fell 36.8% in the financial year to March to 22.07 billion yen (US$228 million) as revenue dropped 4.2%.

The group has so far managed to avoid falling into loss, unlike Toyota, because sales of the smaller cars in which it specializes have been less severely hit by the global economic downturn than demand for larger vehicles.

Even so Daihatsu has cut hundreds of jobs to cope with the slump.

The company expects another tough time in the current business year which began this month, projecting a 64% drop in net profit to 8.0 billion yen. Revenue is seen sinking 14% due to weak demand.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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