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Hyundai Motor marks 41% growth in Q4 profits

Automaker sees global sales volume slip amid pandemic, profits from high-end model, SUV launches



Hyundai Motor (Yonhap)
Hyundai Motor (Yonhap)
Hyundai Motor saw its operating profit soar by over 40 percent in the fourth quarter last year despite the COVID-19 market fallout, on the back of new product launches and robust domestic sales, the company said Tuesday.

The carmaker achieved 1.64 trillion won ($1.49 billion) in operating profit from October to December last year, up 40.9 percent from the 1.24 trillion won a year earlier. Sales for the given period stood at 29.24 trillion won, up 5.1 percent on-year.

The overall yearly figure, however, slipped 22.9 percent from a year earlier, reflecting the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic which had peaked during the first half of the year.

The positive factor during the latter half, especially the final three months, was the successful launch and sales of landmark car models such Tucson, GV80, G80, and Avante which raised the company’s total domestic sales volume to 204,190 units last year, up 5 percent on-year.

The Korean carmaker also saw some improvement in North America and India but saw its global sales slip 6.6 percent to 935,393 units due to decreased demands in Europe, China, and other emerging economies.

“Global demands are on a gradual recovery but we posted a negative growth (in terms of sales volume) due to the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic,” said an official.

“But thanks to the expansion of premium models and sport utility vehicles, operating profits marked a visible improvement nevertheless.”

Despite the economic stimulus packages by key economies and the base effect from last year, the global auto market is unlikely to bounce back to the pre-pandemic level within this year, the company added.

The carmaker is slated to roll out a series of new products, focusing on purely electric vehicles -- starting with Ioniq 5 as early as in February. Hyundai Motor’s sister brand Kia Corp. and independent prestige brand Genesis are also set to unveil their respective EV models later in the year.

Pinning hope on the upcoming launches, Hyundai Motor hopes to reach 4.16 million units in worldwide sales this year, of which 741,500 units to be made in the domestic market.

Also, the company said that it has adopted a new set of guidelines to properly assess corporate performances, in an extended effort to improve management transparency and build investor trust.

“In order to keep up the momentum in new growth sectors, we will invest a total of 8.9 trillion won this year in infrastructure, research and development, and strategic investments,” the official said.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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