Toyota’s Africa profit jumps 90pc on car sales growth

A DT Dobie showroom in Nairobi.
A DT Dobie showroom in Nairobi. Toyota Tsusho Corporation owns DT Dobie and scores of other subsidiaries in Africa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Japanese trading giant Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) saw its net earnings in Africa rise 89.8 percent to Sh10.3 billion in the nine months ended December on the back of increased sales.

The multinational, which owns Toyota Kenya, DT Dobie and scores of other subsidiaries on the continent, had posted a net profit of Sh5.4 billion a year earlier.

“Profit for the period (attributable to owners of the parent) increased 5.3 billion yen (Sh4.8 billion) or 89.8 percent year on year to 11.2 billion yen (Sh10.3 billion), largely as a result of automotive sales growth,” TTC said in a trading update.

Sales in the review period jumped 38.4 percent to Sh566 billion from Sh408.7 billion. The multinational says its African business ended the period with assets worth Sh573.2 billion, up from Sh488.7 billion.

TTC’s main business in Africa is sales of motor vehicles including those manufactured by its affiliate company –Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation.


TTC has other ventures on the continent including in areas such as logistics, agriculture, power generation and technology.

The multinational recently acquired a controlling stake in one of South Africa’s largest dealer networks as it sought to expand its market share in that market.

The acquisition was done through its subsidiary CFAO –the holding company for its automotive business in Africa.

“For the purpose of strengthening its automotive sales foundation in Africa, in November 2019, CFAO SAS acquired through a subsidiary, shares in Unitrans Motor Holdings Proprietary Limited, a leading automobile dealer network operator in South Africa,” TTC said.

The multinational has operations in 53 African countries where it employs more than 10,000 people.

Its presence in the continent got a big boost when it bought out French conglomerate CFAO Group in 2012, bringing dealers like Kenya’s DT Dobie into its fold.

Its main automotive subsidiary in the local market, Toyota Kenya, is ranked second in market share after Isuzu East Africa. Toyota Kenya’s unit sales last year dropped to 3,538 from 3,973 in 2018.

It joined other dealers including Simba Corporation whose sales declined, with turnover in the entire market falling eight percent in the review period to 13,199 units.

Isuzu was among the few firms to buck the trend, with its unit sales rising to 5,158 units from 4,632.