SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) saw quarterly profits more than quadruple, aided by a strong performance in the fast-growing Chinese and Indian markets and an aggressive sales push in the United States.
Hyundai, with affiliate Kia Motors (000270.KS) the world’s fifth largest carmaker, reported on Thursday a 702.7 billion won ($634.4 million) operating profit in the quarter ended March, versus 153.8 billion won a year ago and a record 837.2 billion won in the December quarter, when its smaller cars appealed to recession-weary buyers.
Following are some reactions from fund managers and analysts:
RYOSUKE OKAZAKI, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, ITC INVESTMENT PARTNERS IN TOKYO
“Overall results were really strong. They were much higher than our expectation. Looking at such a big rise in sales, Hyundai may have succeeded in grabbing market share from Toyota. If Hyundai can continue taking market share as Toyota lags behind, I’m sure Hyundai can continue to post strong results throughout the rest of the year.”
“The strength of the Korean won is worrying but from the way it looks now it’s not expected to hurt its profit greatly in the near term.”
KONG JONG-HO, ANALYST, PRUDENTIAL INVESTMENT AND SECURITIES
“Hyundai Motor’s earnings reflected increased sales in emerging markets and the United States, and I expect the positive outlook to continue for the rest of the year. I don’t think that the won’s strength against the yen will have much effect on its foreign exports, since prices will be kept at current levels regardless of currency fluctuations. However profits could shrink depending on the won’s strength.”
HONG SEONG-YEOB, HEAD OF EQUITY MANAGEMENT DIVISION, KB ASSET MANAGEMENT
“Hyundai is expected to keep showing quarterly profit growth on more capacity and a better product mix, although growth may slow a bit.”
“A firmer won is unlikely to be a big problem to Hyundai as strong performance at overseas units will offset the impact.”
“Automakers globally are expected to benefit from global economic recovery and reviving consumption.”
OH HYUN-SEOK, MARKET ANALYST, SAMSUNG SECURITIES
“There are still concerns over the strengthening won’s impact on profits, but overall the business outlook is strong. Robust sales from overseas markets are helping, including in the United States where it’s benefiting from rivals’ troubles.”
“There might be people concerned about the second half outlook and a peak out of momentum, but those worries are premature.”
Reporting by Kim Yeon-hee, Rhee So-eui, Cheon Jong-woo and Suh Kyungmin in SEOUL and Chikafumi Hodo in TOKYO; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner