Tokyo Nissan, Japan\'s second- largest automaker, forecast profit will rise to the highest in five years, helped by rising demand for its vehicles in the US and China. Net income will rise 17 per cent to 400 billion yen (Dh18.41 billion) in the 12 months ending March 2013, the Yokohama, Japan-based automaker said in a statement yesterday. That compares with the 412.2 billion yen average of 25 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company earned the most profit among Japanese carmakers last fiscal year for the first time in at least two decades, as chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn was faster than Toyota and Honda in restoring production disrupted by natural disasters in Japan and Thailand. Nissan is reviving the Datsun brand to expand in emerging markets such as Indonesia and introducing about 30 models in China to double its deliveries in the country by 2015. \"Nissan beating Toyota and Honda means that its procurement strategies are good,\" said Koichi Sugimoto, a Tokyo-based auto analyst at BNP Paribas said yesterday. \"They weren\'t just lucky, they are getting stronger.\" Nissan rose 3.3 per cent to close at 804 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange before reporting results, extending this year\'s gain to 16 per cent. Still, last year\'s best performer among Japan\'s three biggest automakers has turned to the worst performer this year on concern Nissan\'s earnings growth will lag behind those of Toyota and Honda, which are both forecasting profits to more than double this fiscal year. Profit in the fourth quarter ended March 2012 more than doubled to 75.3 billion yen, compared with the 65 billion yen average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg. For the fiscal year, the company earned 341.4 billion yen in profit, 20 per cent more than Toyota and 61 per cent more than Honda — the first time Nissan topped the Japanese auto industry, according to earnings data compiled by Bloomberg stretching back to 1992. Toyota said last week it expects net income to jump to 760 billion yen this fiscal year. Honda forecasts 470 billion yen.