- Export sales increase 32.9% over 1H 2002
- European shipments increase by 114.6%; U.S. shipments up 4.7%
- China sales up 203.1%
SEOUL 13 August 2003 - Kia Motors released its financial performance figures for the first half of 2003 on Tuesday. The numbers show that Kia continues to rise above the general malaise in the automotive market, posting record numbers where most manufacturers are suffering declining profits.
Export volume, excluding knockdowns, increased by 32.9% to 258,271 units. The downturn in the Korean domestic market meant that total sales growth was 4.3%, with 437,790 vehicles shipped between January and June 2003.
The increase in sales resulted in a 13.6% rise in revenues to W6.42 trillion. That translates into a pre-tax profit increase of 14.9% to W412.2 billion and a net income increase of 17.4% to W328 billion.
Kia`s greatest success story was in Europe, where vehicle shipments increased to 76,851 units, up 114.6% over the same period last year. Retail sales rose by 65.2% to 83,338 units. Kia now has a 0.86% share of the Western European market, up from 0.51% at the end of 1H 2002.
The increase in sales was due to increased demand for Kia`s top selling models. The Rio saw sales up 44% to 25,817 units. The extremely popular Sorento saw sales increase by 2003% to 17,795 units.
Sales of the Carnival MPV increased by 10.2% to 15,308 units while its smaller sibling, the Carens, saw sales increase by 237.5% to 12,989.
Kia`s performance in Europe was highlighted by a shift in export distribution. In 1H 2002 Kia sold 58.5% of its export production in the United States compared to 18.6% in Europe. In 1H 2003 the U.S. share of exports fell to 48% while Europe increased to 30%.
Kia Motors COO Yong-Hwan Kim said, "The first half results show a more equitable split between the large U.S. and European markets in terms of Kia`s export distribution. The data clearly show that Kia is becoming a much more globally integrated company and is depending less on a single, large market."
Shipments to the United States increased by 4.7% to 105,899 units. Retail sales contracted slightly by 0.5% to 143,515 units. Mr Kim said, "The U.S. market is a very difficult environment currently, with aggressive incentive programs affecting the performance of all players. Nevertheless, Kia continues to outperform the market, which declined by 2.2% over the first half of the year."
China was also a high point for the first half of the year, with strong sales of the Tianlima C-segment car instrumental in increasing Kia`s China sales by 203.1% to 31,800. Kia sold 25,769 units of the Tianlima in the first six months of 2003. The Tianlima was introduced in November 2002.
"The first half figures put Kia firmly on track to reach its 2003 growth targets," concludes Mr Kim.
Founded in 1944, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) is Korea`s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. A part of the Hyundai Automobile Group, the company currently sells more than one million vehicles per year worldwide and maintains a network of distributors that covers 190 countries. Kia Motors is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and the international sponsor of the Davis Cup for the Euro/Africa zone.