Toyota announces worst ever losses

The world's biggest car maker Toyota has recorded its worst annual figures ever after experiencing a net loss of 765.8 billion yen (£5.1bn) in the first quarter.

The atrocious figures for January to March brought its loss for the full fiscal year to an unprecedented 436.94 billion yen (£2.92bn).

But the bad news does not stop there. The Japanese car giant is predicting net losses will increase to 550 billion yen (£3.68bn) for the fiscal year to March 2010.

The worse-than-expected figures are a result of the global downturn in vehicle sales, the strong yen and rising costs of raw materials, according to the firm's president Katsuaki Watanabe.

During the same quarter in 2008, Toyota posted a net profit of 316.8 billion yen (£2.11bn). But since then the market has been rocked by the ongoing effects of the credit crunch and an emerging global recession.

These factors led annual sales to fall 21.9% for the fiscal year ended March 2009, with sales for the current fiscal year expected to slide another 19.6%.

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