SEOUL, South Korea (April 30, 2008) — Hankook Tire Co. Inc. reported 7.4-percent higher operating earnings in the first quarter despite a 22-percent jump in costs.
Hankook's operating income rose to $77.2 million as revenue jumped 18.4 percent to $1.04 billion on higher sales across the board.
Leading the way for Hankook was its ultra-high performance tire business, where the firm reported 40-percent growth.
Internationally, sales in North America and Europe were up 18.1 and 25.5 percent, respectively, Hankook said, while original equipment sales rose 15.5 percent.
Hankook CEO Seung Hwa Suh said “the surge in sales for our high-end products reflects our growing reputation for providing high-quality, high-performance tires.”
Commenting on profits, he said it is critical that the tire maker “continue to manage costs effectively, while balancing investment to ensure sustained future growth à Demand for our quality products continues to outstrip supply and we are continuing to increase production in all countries where we are manufacturing.”
Included in Hankook's increased first-quarter costs were investments in annual manufacturing capacity, which should hit 74 million tires by year-end, the firm said.