Seoul: Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd’s net profit nearly quadrupled in the fourth quarter on higher sales following a strong performance during 2009 in the fast-growing Chinese and Indian auto markets.
South Korea’s largest automaker and a growing force in the global market, earned 945.5 billion won ($820 million, around Rs3,800 crore) in the three months ended 31 December, it said in a statement on Thursday. Hyundai Motor reported net profit of 243.5 billion won the same period the year before.
The Ulsan, South Korea-based maker of the Elantra and Sonata sedans and the luxury Genesis said sales during the quarter rose 9.3% to 9.65 trillion won from 8.83 trillion won a year earlier.
Changing fortunes: A file photo of a Hyundai showroom in New Delhi. The car maker said it made money after a loss the year before in India. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
For all of 2009, Hyundai recorded a net profit of 2.96 trillion won, more than doubling from 1.45 trillion won in 2008.
Sales for the year, however, fell 1% to 31.9 trillion won from 32.2 trillion. The numbers of vehicles sold rose 11.7% to a record 3.11 million from 2.78 million the year before.
Hyundai reported big gains in sales volume in China and India in 2009. It also said that profits in China surged while in India it made money after a loss the year before.
Auto sales in China soared 93.6% in 2009 with revenue more than doubling, Hyundai said. In India auto sales rose 14.4% and revenue gained 28.7%.
Also boosting profits was a sharp drop in foreign exchange-related losses of 97 billion won in 2009 compared with 380 billion won the year before.
The company attributed the drop in sales revenue to reduced exports from its domestic factories.
Hyundai, which along with affiliate Kia Motors Corp., forms the world’s fifth largest automotive group, has seen its market share grow worldwide in recent years through an emphasis on quality and design.
Hyundai’s global market share rose to 5.25 in 2009 from 4.3% the year before, according to company spokesman Ki Jin-ho. The company is targeting an increase to 5.4% this year, he said.
Regarding recall woes at Toyota Motor Corp., Ki said Hyundai had no special strategy to seize market share from its Japanese rival.
“We are focused on our very basic strategy, like quality and brand,” he said.
Both Hyundai and Kia have expanded aggressively overseas. Hyundai has factories in China, India, Turkey, the US and the Czech Republic. Kia has plants in China and Slovakia and began production in the US last year.
Shares in Hyundai Motor, which released results during afternoon trading, rose 4.1% to close at 113,500 won. The stock price tripled in 2009.