SEOUL, South Korea—Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. reported a 10.4 percent gain in operating income in the quarter that ended March 31 on 1.7 percent lower sales.
Hankook attributed its earnings improvement, to $234.7 million, to increased sales of premium tires, both in the replacement and original equipment segments. Ultra-high-performance tire sales in Europe, for example, jumped 64 percent, while premium tire sales grew 40 percent in Asia-Pacific.
Hankook did not comment on its performance in North America.
Sales overall fell to $1.55 billion.
Hankook Vice Chairman and CEO Seung Hwa Suh credited his company's "foresighted mindset into the future and smart investment" for the firm's "robust" financial performance despite a slow tire market.
Hankook did not provide a forecast for the remainder of fiscal 2013.