The Korea Herald


Kia Motors posts record earnings

By Kim Yon-se

Published : Jan. 27, 2012 - 17:16

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Kia Motors Corp. reported record-high earnings last year on the back of its upgraded brand image and robust sales growth in overseas markets.

The automaker posted about 3.5 trillion won ($3 billion) in net profit in 2011, up 30 percent from a year earlier.

Its vehicle sales reached 43.2 trillion won last year, up 20.6 percent from a year before. Its operating profit also jumped 41.6 percent to 3.5 trillion won.

Kia’s outstanding performance is attributable to the brisk sales of its automobiles based on an improved brand image in major overseas markets, according to company spokespeople.

“We recorded the handsome results, buoyed by enhanced market competitiveness despite the Eurozone debt crisis and global economic slowdown,” a spokesman said.

He said that new quality cars have strengthened Kia’s brand image and fueled the sales increase.

Kia saw its global sales increase 19.2 percent from a year earlier to about 2.53 million units in 2011.

It sold some 485,000 vehicles in the U.S. market, up 36.3 percent from a year earlier, while sales in China, now the world’s largest market for automobiles, jumped 29.9 percent to 433,000 cars.

Its domestic sales rose a mere 1.7 percent to 492,000 vehicles due to lower-than-expected demand.

During the fourth quarter of 2011, its net income dropped 3.5 percent to 790.3 billion won from a year ago.

Sales climbed 8.7 percent on-year to 10.9 trillion won with sales of 684,770 vehicles. Its operating profit climbed 16.8 percent to 825.8 billion won during the September-December period.

Kia Motors said it seeks to sell more than 2.7 million vehicles this year, with a growth rate of 9.5 percent. Its 2012 domestic sales target has been set at 500,000 units, although the market is forecast to grow 2.2 percent on-year.

In the U.S., Kia Motors said it aims to see a 10 percent increase this year, with the sale of 534,000 vehicles.

Also, the company said it wants to sell 356,000 vehicles in Europe this year, up 22.8 percent from 2011. Sales should be helped by the release of the new C’eed small family car in the region.

By Kim Yon-se (