SEOUL, South Korea (June 16)—Despite a 6.3-percent increase in sales in the first quarter, Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. saw operating profit slide 2.4 percent on the negative effects of higher raw materials costs and foreign currency translation losses.
Hankook´s sales grew to $464.1 million during the quarter on the strength of 10.3-percent higher tire export revenue, the company reported. Operating profit fell to $66.7 million, but net earnings rose 4 percent to $55.3 million.
During the quarter, spending on raw materials rose 24 percent, including a 31-percent jump in synthetic rubber costs and a 15-percent hike in steel cord prices.
The firm did not elaborate on its sales performance, other than to say sales of ultra-high-performance tires rose 59 percent in the period, accounting for $67.1 million in sales, or 14.5 percent of total sales.
Separately, Hankook Tire´s China operations reported a 26.4-percent jump in operating earnings, to $18.4 million, on 16.1-percent higher sales of $117.7 million.