SEOUL Jan 24 South Korea's Hyundai Motor
posted a surprise 5.5 percent fall in quarterly net
profit, missing forecasts, as record car sales were dented by
the impact of a stronger local currency and the cost of
compensating drivers in North America for overstated
The South Korean automaker, ranked fifth in global sales
with affiliate Kia Motors, reported October-December
net profit of 1.89 trillion won ($1.8 billion), down from 2
trillion won a year earlier. That compares with a consensus
forecast of 2.15 trillion won in a Reuters poll of 15 analysts.
Hyundai, which has enjoyed strong sales growth in recent
years by offering stylish, yet affordable models such as the
Sonata and Elantra, sold 1.23 million vehicles in the fourth
quarter, up 11 percent from a year earlier.
Shares in Hyundai Motor touched a four-week high on
Wednesday, but are among the worst performers in the global
autos industry with a 10 percent drop in the last four months.
Over the same period, shares in Japanese rival Toyota Motor
have gained 30 percent - a reflection of the recent
shifts in the two economies' currencies.