SEOUL, South Korea (April 23, 2010)—Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. reported a six-fold increase in operating profit in the quarter ended March 31 on 17.6-percent higher sales, prompting management to predict 23-percent sales growth for the fiscal year.
Hankook attributed the earnings development to “significant improvements in productivity and brand value” and strong performances in China, Europe and the home market. Hankook's operating income of $185.5 million represents 15.9 percent of sales of $1.16 billion.
Specifically, Hankook reported 25.6- and 40.6-percent sales growths for its Korean and Chinese operations as well as 90-percent growth in global OE business. Sales in Europe rose 17 percent as the firm's Hungarian operation ramped up production.
The tire maker did not comment on its North American operations overall.
Hankook also noted 81-percent growth in its high-performance tire segment.
The company is forecasting fiscal 2010 sales of nearly $4.5 billion.