SEOUL: South Korea's largest automaker Hyundai Motor bounced back in the first three months from its first quarterly loss in eight years on strong domestic demand for its new sport utility vehicles, the company said Wednesday (Apr 24).
Net profit during the January to March period rose 30 per cent from a year earlier to 954 billion won (US$830 million), Hyundai said in a statement.
The increase came after the firm reported its first quarterly loss in eight years for October-December 2018.
"Strong sales of newly released vehicles including the G90 and the Palisade led to an improvement in profitability," Hyundai said.
The launch of the Palisade, Hyundai's flagship SUV model, helped boost domestic volume by 8.7 per cent, it said, but global sales dropped 4.9 per cent - to 837,420 cars - as demand remained low in key markets such as the US and China.
Hyundai forecast global demand to pick up with the launch of new models in China and added it will focus on emerging markets including India and the ASEAN countries.
The company's operating profit jumped 21 per cent to 825 billion won in the first quarter from a year earlier, while revenues rose 6.9 per cent.
Shares of Hyundai were up 1.47 per cent in afternoon trading in Seoul.