Currently reading: Toyota posts worst loss ever
Fall in US and European car sales hits Japanese giant's profits

Toyota has made the worst annual loss in its history as sales tumble due to the global economic crisis.

In the year to 31 March, the world’s biggest car maker made a net loss of 436.94bn yen (£2.9bn), a stark contrast to a record profit the year before.

Toyota said the disappointing results were down to poor sales in the US and Europe, soaring costs of raw materials, and a strong yen.

Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe said, "Both revenues and profits declined severely during this period."

In the year ending March 2009, Toyota shifted 7.57m units, a decrease of 1.34m units over the year before.

The company estimates that sales will get even worse this year, with a drop of 1.06m units to 6.5m between now and March 2010.

Toyota says that it expects to make a net loss of 550bn yen (£3.7bn) in the financial year ending in March 2010.

"It appears it will take some more time before the financial markets in the US and Europe normalise and the global economy recovers," Mr Watanabe added.

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