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Toyota forecasts third straight year of record net profit

Toyota Motor said on Friday it expected a third straight year of record profit, with rising sales in the U.S. auto market helping it to a modest improvement after a bumper year powered by foreign exchange windfalls and cost cuts.

After net profit jumped 19 percent in the year ended March to 2.17 trillion yen ($18.1 billion), the world's top-selling automaker said it expects net profit to rise 3.5 percent in the current fiscal year to 2.25 trillion yen. That's below the average estimate of 2.44 trillion yen from a Thomson Reuters survey of 27 analysts.

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Toyota is forecasting operating profit will edge up 1.8 percent this year to 2.80 trillion yen. Its projections assume the dollar would average 115 yen this year - conservative compared with around 120 yen currently, boosting the value of U.S. sales converted back into the Japanese currency.