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Toyota says six-month net profit jumps to US$10.35b

[TOKYO] Toyota said Thursday its half-year net profit jumped again as it moves to cut costs and squeeze more productivity out of its plants, as unit sales in most regions declined.

The world's top automaker said its net profit was up nearly 12 per cent to 1.258 trillion yen (S$14.54 billion) in its fiscal first half through September, with a weak yen also helping boost its bottom line.

The Corolla sedan and Prius hybrid maker's revenue for the period rose almost nine percent from a year ago to 14.09 trillion yen.

While the firm sold slightly fewer cars globally at 4.97 million units, it boosted its full fiscal year sales target.

A steep slide in the yen has helped make Japan's automakers more competitive overseas and inflated the value of repatriated overseas profits.

Toyota has been focusing on squeezing out productivity gains and better using existing plants - it put on hold building new factories for several years.

The company began operating a new Thai plant in 2013, but then halted investment as the global car market struggled with oversupply and weak demand.

In April, the company announced it was ending the construction freeze as it unveiled plans for a US$1.0 billion plant in Mexico.

The company is also overhauling its production methods, vowing to slash development costs to try to offset any downturn in the market.