SEOUL, South Korea (May 5, 2009)—Hankook Tire Co. Inc.'s sales grew 13.8 percent in the quarter ended March 31, returning the company to the black after a fourth quarter loss last year.
Hankook attributed its sales growth—to $801.8 million—to strong international demand, including export growth of 19.9 and 8.9 percent to North America and Europe, respectively. In addition, Hankook's Hungarian manufacturing operation reported 87-percent higher sales than a year ago.
Although Hankook reversed its loss from the fourth quarter, its first quarter operating income of $24.9 million was down 52.2 percent from the same 2008 period.
Hankook Tire CEO Seung Hwa Suh attributed “effective cost and expenditure management and smart marketing activities” for the company's return to the black on an operating basis and said Hankook remains positive about further growth prospects for 2009.
The company is targeting global sales this year of about $3 billion.