Toyota Expects $12.5 Billion Operating Profit This Year image

Toyota expects operating profit to pass $12.5 billion this year, which will still be less than half what it earned before the financial crisis.

In the first three months operating profit jumped more than five-fold to $3 billion with all production centers recovering after last year earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which disturbed supply chains and made Toyota lose 400,000 cars in output. But the massive cost-cutting efforts are now paying off, the company expecting operating profit of $12.54 billion.

With the U.S. dealerships on track again, Toyota plans to extend in emerging markets such as China, were the first three months of 2012 head the company’s sales towards a full-year target of 1 million vehicles.

“As we seek growth in emerging markets, a big challenge for us in a market like China, for example, is how to speed up product launches and come up with the right products for the market,” Toyoda said.

Although the dollar is far below the yen, Toyota is still committed to building at least 3 million vehicles a year at its domestic factories, facing costly labor regulations, the strong yen, high corporate taxes and an energy policy deadlock which has shut all nuclear reactors in Japan and driven up costs.