Nissan’s profit jumped 33% year on year in the last quarter of its fiscal year to 31 March, 2012 and the carmaker predicted a 28% rise for the year ahead, driven by strong sales and the global launches of 10 new models.

The company has been pushing aggressively into fast growing markets such as China and Russia and its January-March operating profit rose to JPY118.1bn (US$1.48bn) while net profit for the fiscal fourth quarter grew 145% to JPY75.3bn.

Chairman and chief executive Carlos Ghosn said Nissan recovered its supply chain faster than its competitors after last year's earthquake and tsunami in Japan and widespread flooding in Thailand. It has also been aggressively increasing imported components for its Japanese factories, taking advantage of a strong yen.

Global sales grew 16% to a record 4.8m vehicles for the full year and Ghosn told a news conference that Nissan expects a sales increase of 10.4% this fiscal year to another record, of 5.35m vehicles.

He said: “Together with a stronger brand, investments in products, technologies and global capacity, we have the tools to achieve 'Nissan Power 88' and beyond." That six-year growth plan aims to achieve an 8% global market share and 8% operating profit margin by March 2017.

Ghosn repeated Nissan's goal of becoming the top Asian automaker in rapidly growing China, Brazil and Russia. Last week the Renault-Nissan alliance signed a long awaited deal that would give them effective control of Lada maker AvtoVAZ, creating a group that would rank third in global sales behind General Motors and Volkswagen, and ahead of Toyota.

Ghosn added that Nissan would also pay more attention to newly emerging markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam and pockets of Africa and the Middle East.

He said: “Nissan has delivered robust operating profits and record sales amid growing demand for our models, brands and technologies around the world. It is an even more encouraging performance given the headwinds created by natural disasters, an over-valued yen and uncertain global economic conditions."

Other milestones in the past business year included Leaf EV becoming the world's most successful all electric vehicle and the extension of partnerships with other automakers including Daimler and Mitsubishi.

In China, Nissan's largest single market worldwide, sales rose 21.9% to 1,247,000 vehicles. In the US, sales were up 11.8% to 1.08m units. Across Europe, including Russia, sales were 713,000 units, up 17.5%. In Japan, sales increased 9.2% to 655,000 units.

New models being launched in the current year include the redesigned Altima, Pathfinder, Sylphy/Sentra, NV350 Caravan and a long wheelbase version of the Infiniti M hybrid sedan.