Kia Motors on Friday said revenues in the first three months of this year totaled W11.79 trillion, while operating profit amounted to W1.12 trillion and net profit W1.20 trillion (US$1=W1,135). Sales rose 10.6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011, while operating profit was up 33.4 percent and accounted for 9.5 percent of revenues, around the same level as German luxury car makers.
Domestic sales declined by around 10,000 vehicles, but overseas sales increased by more than 80,000. "Shipments of compact vehicles out of total vehicle sales dropped, but mid-sized or larger sedans and SUVs increased," Kia spokesman Choo Woo-jung was quoted as saying in a press release.
Next month, Kia will unveil its premium K9 sedan, and face-lifted versions of the Sorento R SUV and large K7 sedan will also be rolled out later this year, so sales will increase further, Choo added. Affiliate Hyundai Motor, which announced its first-quarter results on Thursday, also posted record earnings.