Toyota is once more the biggest-selling brand in the world, according to six-month company results, with the financial services operation of the Japanese carmaker contributing a quarter of operating profit, despite generating only 5% of revenue.

The brand’s financial services operating income for the first half of the financial year, April – September, stood at ¥147.8bn (£1.15bn), down 9.49% on the same period for 2011/12. Toyota attributed the loss to "reduced reversal of provisions" in its half-year report.

Including gains from interest rate swaps, however, operating income was ¥174.5, a year-on-year rise of 1.99%.

Operating income for FY Q2, July – September, was ¥77.7bn, or ¥87.7bn when including gains from interest rate swaps; a year-on-year rise of over 11% in both cases, for which the company cited an increased lending balance.

Biggest brand in the world

Toyota has revised its net profit forecast for the 2012/13 financial year to ¥780bn, up 2.6% from its previous estimate, with operating profit of ¥1.05trn, up 5%.

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By GlobalData

Globally, the brand sold 7.4m vehicles in the first nine months of 2012, returning it to the world’s biggest-selling brand ahead of GM and Volkswagen, with FY second-quarter net profit more than trebled to ¥257.9bn following resurgent sales in North America and Southeast Asia.

These results come despite the brand and its two Chinese joint ventures experiencing a sink in registrations in China – the biggest car market in the world, where Toyota typically records 12% of global sales – on the back of anti-Japanese sentiment.

The Toyota forecast for FY12/13 European sales of the brand was 790,000 units, down 4.82% on its previous projection and also down on the FY11/12 result of 798,000 registrations.

Further comment and analysis of Toyota’s half-year results will be published in the November issue of Motor Finance magazine.

richard.brown@vrlfinancialnews.com