China sales power Hyundai Motor to beat forecast

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 July, 2013, 2:19pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 July, 2013, 2:19pm

Hyundai Motor’s second-quarter net profit stayed near a record high achieved a year earlier, beating market forecasts, as strong China growth overpowered rising competition and tight supply that eroded vehicle sales in the United States and South Korea.

Hyundai Motor, which combined with its affiliate Kia Motors is the world’s fifth-biggest automaker, on Thursday reported a 2.52 trillion Korean won (HK$17.5 billion) net profit for April to June, compared with a consensus forecast of 2.39 trillion won from a Reuters’ poll of analysts.

This compared with 2.55 trillion won in net profit a year earlier and 2.09 trillion won the preceding quarter.

The South Korean automaker posted an operating profit of 2.41 trillion won on sales of 23.18 trillion won in the second quarter.

Hyundai Motor’s labour union refused to work during weekends from March 9 to June 1, hurting both domestic shipments and exports to the United States and other markets from its biggest manufacturing base. Hyundai has struggled to defend market share in Korea and United States amid intensifying competition and the ageing of its models such as Sonata and Elantra.

China is one of Hyundai’s few bright spots. Last year, Hyundai started production at its third plant and launched a Chinese version of its Elantra compact, as Japanese rivals reeled from a sales decline stemming from a territorial row.