May 10, 2017 / 6:25 AM / 3 months ago

Toyota forecasts 20 pct FY operating profit drop on higher marketing expenses

TOKYO, May 10 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp forecast on Wednesday a 20 percent fall in operating profit this year as the world's second largest automaker expects global vehicle sales to remain largely flat while it expects increased expenses from marketing activities.

Toyota expects operating profit to come in at 1.6 trillion yen ($14.06 billion) in the year to March, below an average estimate of 2.3 trillion yen from 25 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, and less than the 1.99 trillion yen profit posted in the year just ended.

Toyota's forecast is based on a projection that the yen will average around 105 yen to the U.S. dollar in the year through March, compared with 108 yen in the year just ended.

The automaker also said it would buy back up to 1.65 percent of its own shares, worth 250 billion yen. ($1 = 113.7700 yen) (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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