SEOUL, South Korea—Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. reported a 23.6 percent jump in operating income for the quarter ended March 31 on 9.4 percent higher sales.
Hankook did not elaborate on the reasons for the double-digit increase in its operating profit, but attributed much of its sales growth to improved business in Europe and North America, both in the original equipment and replacement markets, where the company booked 7.9 and 8.4 percent increases.
Sales grew to $1.38 billion, Hankook said, despite fluctuations in the global economy. Earnings jumped to $213 million, which resulted in a nearly two-point gain in the operating margin, to 15.4 percent.
Hankook also pointed out sales revenue of ultra-high-performance tires in North America and Europe jumped 38.7 and 15.6 percent.
The company suggested its efforts at enhanced visibility with brand communication activities in the market have contributed to the improved performance.
Hankook said it will concentrate this year on improving its position in the premium tire markets—particularly in Europe and North America—including efforts to expand the aftermarket point-of-sale network by up to 50 percent by 2017.