Google Inc. announced on Thursday its fourth-quarter net income of $1.97 billion, or $6.13 a share, compared to $382 million, or $1.21 a share in the same period last year.

Google had a strong fourth quarter, with 17% year over year revenue growth, said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.

 Given that the global economy is still in the early days of recovery, this was an extraordinary end to the year, he said.

Google reported its Non-GAAP net income in the fourth quarter was $2.19 billion, compared to $1.62 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP EPS in the fourth quarter of 2009 was $6.79, compared to $5.10 in the fourth quarter of 2008.

 As we enter 2010, we remain hugely optimistic about the Internet and are continuing to invest heavily in technological innovation for the benefit not only of our users and customers, but also the wider web,” said CEO Eric Schmidt.

Our performance in 2009 underscored the strength of our management team, the resilience of our business model and the pace of innovation within our product and engineering teams, which continued unabated throughout the downturn.