The company saw its global sales rise by 5.2 per cent to more than 687,000 vehicles in the first three months with China reporting a 13.3 per cent increase to 156,000, Europe showing an uplift of 7.9 per cent to 89,000 units, the United States saw sales increase by 4.8 per cent to 133,000 and the rest of the world saw a modest 1.8 per cent increase to 201,000 vehicles. The Korean market saw sales fall by 1,000 units to 108,000 – a decrease of 0.6 per cent.
But despite an exchange rate that saw the US dollar fall 1.6 per cent against the Korean Won the company still recorded improved revenues, up 7.6 per cent, of 11.9 trillion Korean Won (1,096KW = US $ 1), a gross profit of almost 2.5 trillion Korean Won and an operating profit of 736 billion Korean Won – and increase of 4.5 per cent against the same period last year.
The performance was supported by improved sales of RVs in most markets around the world – up from 27 per cent of total sales to 29 per cent. That trend was marked in Europe where RV sales – Sportage and Sorento – amounted to 36 per cent of Q1 sales compared to 29 per cent in the first quarter of 2013.
Factory production was also increased in Q1 with Korean plants producing 433,000 vehicles – up 9.3 per cent on 2013. Overseas plants – China, Europe and the US – produced 10.8 per cent more vehicles – delivering 339,000 units compared to 306,000 in 2013.