South Korea's top two automakers -- Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. -- are expected to deliver improved earnings results for 2019, aided by brisk sales of sport utility vehicles and the weak local currency, industry data showed on Sunday.
According to earnings forecasts by brokerages compiled by Yonhap Infomax, Hyundai Motor is believed to have logged a net profit of 3.4 trillion won ($2.93 billion) on an operating income of 3.5 trillion won, which marks a 105 percent and a 46 percent rise, respectively, from a year earlier.
Its sales are estimated at 104.9 trillion won last year, also up 8 percent over the cited period, they showed.
Its smaller affiliate, Kia Motors, is estimated to have racked up a net profit of 1.9 trillion won last year on an operating income of 2 trillion won. Those readings mark a 64 percent and a 69 percent rise, respectively, from a year earlier.
The two automakers are set to release their 2019 business results this week.
Their stellar performances came as sales of high-priced SUVs such as the Palisade and Telluride increased sharply.
Hyundai Motor said earlier it sold over 50,000 Palisades in the domestic market last year, helping buoy the carmaker's annual sales and its bottom line.
For the whole of 2019, 52,299 Palisades were sold here following its launch in January, Hyundai sales data showed.
In 2019, nine models -- Hyundai's Palisade, Santa Fe, Grandeur sedan, Sonata sedan and Avante compact and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp.'s Carnival van, Sorento SUV, K7 sedan and Morning minicar -- sold over 50,000 units per model domestically.
Hyundai and Kia, the country's two biggest carmakers by sales, sold a combined 7.19 million autos in global markets last year, missing their annual sales target of 7.55 million units.
This year, they are aiming to sell 7.54 million autos by launching several all-new models in major markets.
The new models include the GV80 SUV and G80 sedan to be launched under Hyundai's independent Genesis brand in the first half of 2020 and Hyundai's Tucson SUV and Kia's Sportage SUV and Carnival van to be released in the second half. (Yonhap)