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Toyota posts $1.7B profit, raises annual forecast

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp., grappling with spreading safety problems that are battering its image, returned to profit in the October-December quarter and raised its annual earnings forecast.

The world's No. 1 automaker Thursday reported a net profit of 153.2 billion yen ($1.7 billion) for the quarter from a loss of 164.7 billion yen a year earlier.

The results don't reflect the damage from the massive recalls linked to faulty gas pedals, announced Jan. 21. But the suspension of U.S. sales of eight of its most popular models and repair costs is expected to hurt earnings in the current quarter.

Toyota raised its annual earnings forecast. It now expects a profit of 80 billion yen for the year through March from an earlier projection of a 200 billion yen loss.