SEOUL, South Korea—Hankook Tire Co. Inc. posted a 22.9 percent jump in operating profit for the quarter ended Sept. 30. The company recorded $259.5 million in profit despite 3.9 percent lower global sales of $1.45 billion.
While markets generally remained flat, sales of ultra high performance and “OE premium” tires bolstered Hankook's financial results, especially in the European and Chinese markets, the company said.
Sales in North America, by contrast, fell 10.3 percent in the quarter to $397 million. Hankook reported replacement sales fell due to “unfavorable market situations,” while OE sales were up slightly.
For the nine month period, sales in North America were up 8.8 percent to $950 million.
The Seoul-based tire maker noted that UHP tire sales now account for 34.2 percent of revenue, up 3.6 percentage points over the 2015 period.
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Hankook reported operating income of $578 million, up nearly 24 percent, on 3.7 percent higher sales of $3.37 billion. That yields a 17.1 percent earnings ratio, up three full points over 2015.
Hankook, which already supplies OE truck and bus tires in Europe to Daimler A.G. and Volkswagen A.G.'s Man brand, expanded its portfolio by becoming a supplier to Scania A.B. as well.
Hankook Tire aims to strengthen its brand portfolio through a multi-brand strategy to meet various customers' needs around the globe.