SEOUL, South Korea (March 4, 2009) — Kumho Tire Co. Inc. reported a net loss of $225 million last year despite higher gross profits and sales.
The net loss is the second consecutive for the company, which reported 13.8 percent higher sales of $2.53 billion. The gross profit grew 11.4 percent during the year to $558.6 million, but operating earnings fell 63.7 percent to $22.7 million, according to data presented recently at an investor relations meeting in Seoul.
Kumho's sales slumped measurably in the fourth quarter, with unit volume during that period down 18.7 percent. Sales revenue slid only 5.2 percent as the value of firm's export shipments from South Korea dipped only 1.3 percent, in part due to Kumho's shifting exports more heavily toward Asia and away from North America and Europe.
For 2009 Kumho is projecting 17.4 percent growth for the parent company - i.e., not including the firm's Chinese and Vietnamese manufacturing businesses. The firm also expects operating profits to rebound and to cut the net loss nearly to zero.
Kumho did not disclose a forecast for its consolidated activities.