Honda records strong quarterly earnings, predicts record year ahead

Honda's quarterly profit increased 61% to $1.4 billion.

After being hamstrung by natural disasters and a strong yen in 2011, Honda's January-March profit shot up 61 percent on increased automotive and motorcycle sales. The automaker expects the positive momentum to continue, forecasting record global auto sales this fiscal year.

Honda's overall sales were up 8.7 percent, with its motorcycle division enjoying record sales of 3.5 million bikes. The automaker recorded a quarterly profit of $1.4 billion, an improvement from $570 million the year before and its first earnings increase following five quarters of decline.

Japan's No. 3 automaker will look to capture a 10 percent market share in the key United States market and grow its overall global auto sales by 38.4 percent to 4.3 million vehicles for the fiscal year ending March 2013. Honda moved just 3.1 million vehicles in the prior fiscal year due in part to the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan and widespread flooding in Thailand, both of which significantly disrupted the automaker's production capabilities.

The record strength of the yen also eroded Honda's profits on overseas exports.