© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A shop sign of Hyundai is seen outside a car showroom in Milton Keynes, Britain
SEOUL (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor Co posted on Tuesday a 57% jump in quarterly profit on strong demand for high-margin SUVs and its premium Genesis cars, but results came in slightly below expectations due to the impact of a strong South Korean won.
Hyundai, which together with affiliate Kia Corp is among the world’s top 10 automakers, reported a net profit of 1.3 trillion won ($1.18 billion) for the fourth quarter ended December, versus 804 billion won a year earlier.
That fell short of the 1.5 trillion won average of 16 analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.
Revenue rose 5% to 29.2 trillion won, Hyundai said in a regulatory filing.
“Hyundai had a good fourth quarter, especially in the United States, where higher average-selling-price cars such as SUVs saw increasing demand as consumers shun public transit because of COVID-19 and low gasoline prices,” said Lee Han-joon, an analyst at KTB Investment & Securities.
“Holiday deals helped as well.”
Hyundai also saw solid demand for its cars last year in emerging markets such as India, despite the pandemic, but delivered a loss in the October quarter as it provisioned for a big engine-quality related bill.
Demand for its vehicles from car-rental companies that purchase in bulk are however still tepid, analysts said, although sales of its luxury cars remain a bright spot.
Hyundai is making a big push into electric vehicles (EVs) and has said it will introduce an EV-only platform in early 2021 that will use its own battery technology to cut production time and costs.
Analysts expect a boost to its EV sales this year despite a global recall of Kona Electric due to fires.
Recent news that Hyundai was discussing an electric car and battery tie-up with Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) pushed up the automaker’s shares by the most in more than three decades.
Hyundai shares, up over a third this month, were down 2.3% as of 0519 GMT versus the broader ‘s 3% fall.
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