Nissan has announced net income of 42.4 billion yen (US$460 million, EUR320 million) for the fiscal year ended March 31. The profit compares to a 233.7 billion yen loss in fiscal year 2008.

Nissan said that the full-year result was better than the forecast given when third-quarter financial results were filed in February.

The company cited a number of positive factors including sales volume growth in emerging markets, especially in China, and the ‘effective execution of recovery plan actions to counter the effects of the global financial and economic crisis’.

“Fiscal year 2009 was an extremely challenging year.  Within Nissan, we kept our focus on recovery, guided by our company’s recovery plan,” said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

“Though we are still operating in crisis mode, Nissan is well on track toward complete recovery without any compromise to our strategic priorities.”

Net revenues were put at 7.5173 trillion yen (US $80.92 billion, EUR57.3 billion), down 10.9% from the prior year, with the stronger yen offsetting the increase in sales volume.

Nissan said that operating profit was 311.6 billion yen (US $3.35 billion,EUR2.38 billion).

Nissan sold a total of 3,515,000 vehicles worldwide in fiscal year 2009, a 3% increase compared with the prior year. In North America, sales were 1,067,000 units, down 5.8%; United States sales were 824,000 units, down 3.8%. In Japan, sales were 630,000 units, up 2.9%. In Europe, sales were to 517,000 units, down 2.4%. Sales in China reached 756,000 units, a 38.7% increase. Other markets totaled 545,000 units, down 7.8%.

In fiscal year 2009, new models released by Nissan included Infiniti G37 Convertible, 370Z Roadster, NV200 Vanette, Fuga, Roox, PIXO, Patrol and March.

Carlos Ghosn highlighted the company’s expansion into electric vehicles as an important factor in the 2010 outlook.

“Although we continue to operate in an environment that is volatile and uncertain, fiscal year 2010 will be an important year in which we launch an affordable, mass-market, all-electric, zero-emission vehicle, extend our presence in emerging markets and develop additional synergies in the Renault-Nissan Alliance,” said Ghosn.

The global sales forecast for fiscal year 2010 is 3.8 million units, an increase of 8.1%. Nissan will launch 10 all-new products globally: the Nissan Leaf zero-emission car in the United States, Japan and Europe; Infiniti QX in the United States, Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Russia; the NV series of commercial vans and a convertible crossover in the United States; Quest minivan for both the United States and Canadian markets; Juke, Elgrand, a new minivan and a new minicar in Japan; and the second car in Nissan’s global compact car lineup, an affordable sedan.

Nissan said it will continue to be fully engaged in its recovery plan, which is focused around three core pillars: revenue growth, tight cost management and free cash flow generation. The company aims to complete its recovery in fiscal year 2010.