Honda has officially joined the ranks of automakers like Kia and Ford by posting solid profits during the fourth quarter of the company's fiscal year. The Japanese automaker managed to see profits rise by 28 percent compared to the same period last year, thanks largely to increased hybrid sales. The announcement marks the fourth-straight quarter of profits for the company after seeing a rare operating loss at the end of March, 2009.

Sales in Japan have been bolstered by sales of the incredibly popular CR-Z Hybrid. Earlier this month, Honda announced that it had received over 7,000 orders for the two-door hatchback, which accounted for over half of the models the company had set aside for sale in its home market.

Honda also attributed its quick recovery to the fact that its lineup is comprised mostly of fuel-efficient vehicles – something buyers in a global recession have been quick to appreciate. Analysts also point to a healthy dose of cost-cutting measures as bearing credit for the rebound, too. Based on the good news, the carmaker hopes to see its growth continue through the rest of 2010.

[Sources: Honda, Mainichi Daily News | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]