By Daniel Hunter

Japan's biggest car manufacturer has posted a year-on-year 19% rise in net income for the last twelve months, surpassing expectations.

Stronger sales in the US, together with a weaker yen, are the main causes of the rise.

The company's net income increased from 2.1733 trillion Japanese yen ($18.1bn; £11.7bn), up from 1.8231tn yen a year earlier.

Consolidated vehicle sales decreased by 144,169 units during the period, to 8,971,864 vehicles.

Other Japanese firms - especially those relying on exports, such as Toyota - have benefited from the weakness in the yen, which helps bring down the cost of Japanese goods sold abroad.

It has forecast a net income of 2.25tn yen for the year ending in March 2016, backed by continued strength in the US market.