Japanese car giant Toyota has posted a 7.2% jump in quarterly net profits, beating expectations and surprising analysts.

Net income came to 657.3bn yen ($5.88bn; £4.52bn), up from the 613.0bn yen recorded in the same period a year earlier.

Many analysts had said they expected Toyota’s earnings to be flat.

But strong sales in Asia and some cost reductions on the home front helped boost the firm’s bottom line.

The firm said it sold 2,236,131 vehicles during the period, an increase of 21,020.

“Toyota has been doing very well in parts of Asean (the Association of South East Asian Nations),” Janet Lewis, head of industrials and transportation in Asia for the Macquarie Group, told the BBC.

“Particularly in Thailand, where Toyota is having a very strong year. And that has been supportive, because margins in Asean tend to be very good,” she said.

Toyota said its operating income increased from 574.2bn yen to 682.6bn yen – a jump of 18.87%.

But the firm maintained that its full-year net profit would come in 2.12tn yen as trade war worries continue.

Earlier this year Toyota said it expected to sell 8.95 million vehicles in the year to March 2019.