Kia, South Korea’s second-largest automaker, has raised its earnings target for this year after the company recorded its best-ever figures last year on strong sales.
The company said Friday in a conference call that its annual revenue and operating profit had reached 86.6 trillion won ($70.3 billion) and 7.2 trillion won last year, respectively. The numbers increased by 23.9 percent and 42.8 percent each. The automaker sold 2.9 million cars worldwide in 2022, up 4.5 percent from the previous year.
Kia’s fourth quarter numbers excelled as it logged 23.2 trillion won in revenue and 2.6 trillion won in operating profit, an increase of 123.3 percent on year.
The automaker pointed to sales growth due to an increase of usable inventory after the supply and demand for parts improved, leading to more selling of higher profitable vehicles based on its strengthened cost-competitiveness. The company also credited the strong dollar for the notable performances in the fourth quarter.
“Despite the high uncertainties such as weakening demand due to high interest rates and high consumer prices as well as the continued international tension, we will strengthen a positive cycle based on improving the sales of highly-profitable (sports utility vehicles) and advancing our product and brand power with the launch of the EV9, a new electric vehicle SUV,” the company said.
Kia set out a goal of selling 3.2 million units across the globe this year, saying the target was based on extended manufacturing hours at the domestic factories, which will be enabled by improvements in the semiconductor supply chain, the incremented unit production per hour at its US and India plants and the still-high demand for the automaker’s products.
The company also announced that its objectives for the annual revenue and operating this year are 97.6 trillion won and 9.3 trillion won, respectively.
“From 2020 to 2022, our annual operating profits recorded 3 trillion won, 5 trillion won and 7 trillion won. We are now looking at 9 trillion won this year. We have never missed our target. We will do our best to meet the goal,” said Joo Woo-jeong, chief financial officer at Kia.