TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) on Thursday raised its forecast for annual operating profit by 4.2% due to a slightly weaker yen, while it also expects to sell more vehicles than an earlier estimate.

Japan’s biggest automaker expects operating profit to rise to 2.5 trillion yen ($22.7 billion) in the year to March, up from 2.47 trillion yen the previous year and its earlier forecast of 2.4 trillion yen.

The outlook is based on a new assumption for the yen to average around 108 yen to the U.S. dollar during the current business year versus 107 yen previously.

The higher forecast came despite a 3.2% decline in third-quarter profit to 654.4 billion yen on softer global vehicle sales.

The result was, however, slightly higher than an average forecast of 652.3 billion yen drawn from nine analysts polled by Refinitiv.

The automaker sold 2.69 million vehicles globally during the October-December period, compared with 2.7 million units in the same period a year ago.

Sales in Asia tumbled 12.5% while sales in North America, Toyota’s biggest market, slipped 1.8%.

Overall, the automaker expects to sell 10.73 million cars for the year to March, slightly higher than a previous forecast for 10.7 million units.

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Edwina Gibbs


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