Toyota posts $2.2B profit

TOKYO — Toyota reported a quarterly profit of $2.2 billion, reversing from red ink a year earlier as the world's top automaker benefited from a global sales recovery that offset lingering doubts about the safety of its cars.

The company, which makes the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid, raised its full year earnings forecast Wednesday and said it now expects to sell 7.38 million vehicles worldwide for the year through March, up from 7.24 million the previous year. Previously it forecast sales of 7.29 million vehicles.

The numbers show that Toyota Motor Corp. is on a recovery track from the sales battering it took from the global financial crisis two years ago and the blows to its image from massive recalls that began last October.

U.S.-traded shares jumped $1.70, or 2.3 percent, to $74.47 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

Toyota acknowledged uncertainties lie ahead, including the surging yen, which erodes the value of overseas earnings, but is expecting sales to expand in Asia, South America and other emerging markets.

Still, Toyota's car sales remain far lower than the 9 million-plus vehicles it was selling globally while on its way to overtaking General Motors Co. as the world's No. 1 automaker.

Its quarterly profit of 190.47 billion yen ($2.2 billion) was achieved despite worries that Toyota's recalls of popular models would hurt sales. The result was a sharp improvement from a loss of 77.8 billion yen the year before, when the global recession crushed car sales.