Toyota reports a net profit of ¥962.1 billion ($9.7 billion) for its just-ended fiscal year, or more than triple the ¥283.5 billion ($2.9 billion) made in fiscal 2012.

For the year ended March 31, the world's No.1 auto maker also saw revenue spike 18.7% from year-ago to ¥22 trillion ($222.2 billion). Operating income grew dramatically, returning to the black for the first time in five years.

"Our consolidated operating income resulted in ¥1.32 trillion ($13.3 billion) due to increased vehicle sales in North America and Asia in particular and profit improvement activities across the Toyota group," Toyota President Akio Toyoda says in a statement.

Toyota credits cost-reduction efforts for the improved operating profit, the positive effects of marketing activities and currency fluctuations of ¥150.0 billion ($1.5 billion), which offset negative effects of ¥300 billion ($3.0 billion) from related expenses.

On a consolidated basis, Toyota sold 8.871 million vehicles in fiscal 2013, up 1.519 million from prior-year.

North American sales totaled 2.469 million vehicles, a 596,381-unit spike from fiscal 2012.

Including the impact of ¥33 billion ($333 million) in valuation gains and losses on interest-rate swaps, Toyota's North American operating profit rose ¥35.5 billion ($359 million) to ¥221.9 billion ($2.2 billion). Excluding the impact of the swaps, operating income totaled ¥188.9 billion ($1.9 billion) in the region.

The auto maker saw its next biggest increase in sales in Asia, with vehicle deliveries rising 356,749 units in fiscal 2013 to 1.684 million.

Takuo Sasaki, managing officer-Toyota, says the auto maker's sales in China, the world's largest new-vehicle market, are close to recovering.

"Last year, since the occurrence of so-called political issues, the volume has declined at a certain point in time," Sasaki tells analysts during a conference call this morning. However, he says Toyota's China recovery is on track with the pace and speed the auto maker anticipated.

Sales in April were 94% of same-period last year, Sasaki notes, and the auto maker expects new RAV4 and Vios models to increase total sales this year.

Growth in the Central and South Americas/Oceania/Africa region, followed closely behind Asia, with a 356,516-unit increase in sales, to 1.640 million.

In Japan, Toyota sold 207,997 more vehicles than year-ago, for a total of 2.279 million.

In Europe, where most of the world's auto makers continue to underperform, Toyota posted a modest increase of 1,092 units, to 799,085.

"Of course we did have our share of difficulty last year, but we are planning to solidly exceed 800,000 units this year," Sasaki says. Growth is expected to come from the impact of new models on the market and an effort to strengthen fleet sales, which has been a weak area for the auto maker, in the region.

The prior fiscal year was the least disruptive of Toyoda's nearly 4-year leadership.

The CEO took the helm in the months following the global economic downturn of late-2008, then faced the triple whammy of an unintended-acceleration scandal in 2009 and 2010, the Japan earthquake/tsunami of March 2011 and flooding in Thailand in fall 2011. The latter two events threw Toyota's global supply chain into disarray.

"When our company fell into losses after the Lehman Shock (of 2008), we learned a particularly important lesson, that a sharp decline, even after a rapid growth, does affect a number of stakeholders given the extensive value chain in the auto industry, and that sustainable growth is important," Toyoda says.

While the auto maker has taken a number of measures to guard against future calamities, Toyoda says he nevertheless is "not sure yet" Toyota can be profitable and continue to grow if another "unprecedented crisis" were to happen.

"Has Toyota really learned lessons and been reborn? We would only know the answer when such events actually happen," he says.

Toyota predicts more upside in the current fiscal year, estimating it will sell 9.1 million vehicles worldwide, as it continues to bank on sales increases outside Japan.

In the coming year, the auto maker will launch new generations of some of its highest-volume products, including an all-new version of the Corolla compact car, the No.1 or No.2 best-selling car in the world depending on whose data is used, and an all-new Highlander cross/utility vehicle.

Net income of ¥1.37 trillion ($13.8 billion) is forecast for fiscal 2014, based on an exchange rate of ¥90:$1 and ¥120:€1.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com