Hankook Tire Q4 net falls 65 pct on strong won

SEOUL– Hankook Tire & Technology Co. said Thursday its fourth-quarter net profit plunged 65 percent from a year earlier as a strong won cut into the bottom line.

Net profit for the three months ended Dec. 31 fell to 28.49 billion won (US$23 million) from 82.36 billion won during the same period of 2021, the company said in a statement.

“The quarterly net result was affected by the won’s strength against the dollar later last year despite increased sales of high-end tire products,” the statement said.

Robust sales of original equipment (OE) for electric vehicle models manufactured by global carmakers such as BMW, Audi and Toyota Motor Corp. pushed up the operating profit in the December quarter, the company said.

OE tires refer to the products a tiremaker supplies to the assembly lines of a carmaker at wholesale prices. It is more profitable for carmakers to sell replacement equipment (RE) tires in after-sales markets.

Operating profit more than doubled to 212 billion won in the fourth quarter from 88.32 billion won a year ago. Sales rose 18 percent to 8.39 trillion won from 7.14 trillion won during the same period.

For the whole of 2022, net profit rose 14 percent to 686 billion won from 604.34 billion won the previous year. Operating profit climbed 9.9 percent on-year to 705.78 billion won and sales were up 18 percent to 8.39 trillion won.

In 2023, Hankook Tire aims to achieve a 5 percent sales growth compared with a year earlier by boosting sales in the passenger car and light truck division.

The company plans to invest about 1 trillion won in expanding the Tennessee plant and its maintenance and repair programs this year.

Hankook Tire, the world’s seventh-biggest tiremaker by sales, earns over 80 percent of its total revenue abroad.

Currently, it has eight plants — two in South Korea, one in Hungary, one in the United States, three in China and one in Indonesia — whose combined capacity reaches about 100 million tires per year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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