SEOUL, South Korea—Nexen Tire Corp.'s fiscal 2014 operating earnings rose 18 percent over 2013 on the effects of lower raw materials costs and slightly higher sales.
Operating income rose to $198.7 million, 1.7 percent higher sales of $1.68 billion, raising the operating ratio nearly two full points to 11.9 percent.
Net income rose 4.7 percent to $123.6 million, Nexen reported.
The company said revenue growth was limited due to lower replacement market demand in the U.S. and Europe. Tire production, on the other hand, jumped 7.1 percent to 34.9 million units.
Nexen noted in its unaudited fourth quarter results report that the manufacturing utilization rate at its Korea No. 1 plant fell because of lower sales in the U.S. market, but that the antidumping duties being imposed by the U.S. government on imports from China should help this recover.
Operating profit in the fourth quarter jumped 51.7 percent, Nexen said, on 7.7 percent higher sales. The company reported sales in North America were down slightly in the quarter due to customers' stocking up on tires from China ahead of the U.S. government's import duties decisions.
The tire maker anticipates volume growth to rebound this year after these inventories clear out.
Nexen said it anticipates stable raw materials prices throughout 2015 based on the oil price forecasts.