NEW YORK — Leading US carmaker General Motors was back in the black after a massive government rescue, reporting Thursday full year net earnings of $4.7 billion for 2010 after deep losses in the previous year.

In its first annual report since emerging from bankruptcy reorganisation, GM said it had been profitable over four consecutive quarters, including $500 million net income in the fourth quarter ended December 31, even after net charges of $400 million related to repaying the federal government for its massive bailout.

The company said that it had officially returned to stable footing, with its audit committee ruling it was no longer hobbled by any "material weakness."

"Our focus for 2011 is to build on our progress and continue to generate momentum in the marketplace. We expect our first quarter will be a strong start," said chief financial officer Chris Liddell.

The company said it would pay out profit-sharing averaging $4,300 a person to 45,000 eligible GM employees, a recognition of the cuts workers took to earnings and benefits in the rescue.

The largest US automaker received 49.5 billion dollars from the Treasury and emerged from a bankruptcy restructuring in July 2009.

The report Thursday was its first annual report since raising $23.1 billion in in a public share offering in November.

"Last year was one of foundation building," said GM chairman and chief executive Dan Akerson.

"Particularly pleasing was that we demonstrated GM's ability to achieve sustainable profitability near the bottom of the U.S. industry cycle, with four consecutive profitable quarters."