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Toyota annual profit nearly doubles on better sales, but quarterly profit down slightly

Toyota's fourth quarter profit dropped slightly despite higher vehicle sales and a weak yen as it spend more on research and development.

Toyota Motor Corp. reported Thursday a January-March profit of 297 billion yen ($2.9 billion), down from 313.9 billion yen a year earlier.

Quarterly sales rose 12.5 percent to 6.57 trillion yen ($64.5 billion).

The world's top automaker said extra costs, including research and development expenses, reduced its profit.

For the fiscal year, Toyota's profit almost doubled to 1.82 trillion yen ($17.9 billion) from 962 billion yen the previous year.

Annual sales jumped 16 percent to 25.69 trillion yen ($252 billion), thanks to growth in the U.S., Japan and the rest of Asia.

Toyota forecast a 1.78 trillion yen ($17.5 billion) profit for the fiscal year through March 2015.