Kia Motors, the country’s second-largest carmaker, said Friday its net earnings in the first quarter rose 11.8 percent on-year to 876.3 billion won ($843.9 million), in line with industry forecasts.
A hike in car prices, along with increased overseas sales, helped bolster the earnings despite deteriorating business conditions amid a strengthening Korean currency, according to analysts.
Operating profit rose 4.5 percent to 735.6 billion won in the same period, with sales numbers rising 7.6 percent to 11.92 trillion won, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Net profit in the first quarter last year stood at 783.9 billion won, with operating profit and sales reaching 704.2 billion won and 11.08 trillion won, respectively. “The 7.4 percent rise in the export unit price for Kia cars, coupled with strong sales of popular vehicles such as the Soul, K3 and Sportage R, contributed to the healthy bottom line,” the company said in a press release.
It also said better brand recognition played a part in offsetting the roughly 1.5 percent appreciation of the Korean won against the U.S. dollar.