SEOUL:

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Kia Mo­tors said Wed­nes­day that its fourth-quar­ter op­er­at­ing profit rose on the back of strong de­mand for its new mod­els of sedan and sports util­ity ve­hi­cle. Op­er­at­ing profit reached 514.4 bil­lion won ($428 mil­lion) dur­ing the Oc­to­berDe­cem­ber pe­riod, up 2.8 per­cent from a year ear­lier, the South Korean car­maker said. It marked the se­cond quar­terly growth. Rev­enue in­creased 9.3 per­cent from a year ear­lier to 12.79 tril­lion won in the fourth quar­ter, but net in­come shed 1.2 per­cent to 430.8 bil­lion won. The in­crease in op­er­at­ing profit and rev­enue came as new K5 sedan and Sportage sports util­ity ve­hi­cle, rolled out in the third quar­ter, sold well in the se­cond half. Solid de­mand for recre­ational ve­hi­cles such as Sorento and Car­ni­val con­trib­uted to the rise in rev­enue. The net in­come, how­ever, re­duced on un­fa­vor­able for­eign ex­change rates in emerg­ing mar­kets. For the whole year of 2015, Kia's op­er­at­ing profit de­clined 8.5 per­cent to 2.35 tril­lion won as auto sales in the first half were lack­lus­ter. The 2015 rev­enue ex­panded 5.1 per­cent to 49.52 tril­lion won, but net profit tum­bled 12.1 per­cent to 2.63 tril­lion won. Kia plans to launch new mod­els and start op­er­at­ing its Mex­i­can fac­tory from May to over­come stiffer com­pe­ti­tion amid the ex­pected slow­down in emerg­ing economies and slump in ad­vanced mar­kets.

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