By Denna Bowman
Hankook tyres have announced a surge in first-quarter net profit in the wake of strong sales due to an upturn in the global auto market.
South Korea’s largest tyres manufacturer posted a net profit of 138.1 billion won (£780 million) in the three months ended March 31, compared with a profit of 2.8 billion won for the same period a year earlier.
Seo Seung-hwa, chief executive of Hankook, said: “Last year, Hankook Tyre has amazed its competitors with an unprecedented business achievement despite economic difficulties.”
He added: “The result is a good sign suggesting we will see sustainable growth this year.”
First-quarter operating profit also jumped to 119.9 billion won from 43.5 billion won a year ago, according to the filing.
Sales rose 25.6 percent from a year ago to 778.5 billion won.
The news coincides with reports that Hankook is also set to build a new plant in China.
Heo Ki-yeol, head of Hankook Tyre China, told South Korean press that “Expansion of production capacity is a must to increase our share in the fast-growing market.
“To meet the growing demand here, we started to equip one of our existing factories with additional facilities, and are now considering building a new one.”