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Date 28/04/2008 Hits69,561

Category Corporate

Impressive, US$1BN Hankook Tire First Quarter Results Fuelled by Growing Reputation of Tech

Impressive, US$1BN Hankook Tire First Quarter Results Fuelled by Growing Reputation of Technology and High-Performance Tires
- Global sales record over US$1 billion (KRW997.3 billion), increasing by 18.4% year-on-year and recording operating profit of 7.4%
- Ultra-high performance (UHP) tire sales grew over 40%, following clean sweep of performance categories in Germany’s summer tire tests this year
- Emerging markets continue to show strong growth with 183% year-on-year growth recorded in sales to Russia.
- Hankook Tire to further boost high-performance sales through Kontrol Technology campaign, launched globally at Auto Beijing in April
SEOUL, KOREA 29th April - Hankook Tire (, the seventh-largest and one of the fastest growing tire manufacturers in the world*, today revealed year-on-year sales growth over 40% in its ultra-high performance (UHP) tire business, helping the company record sales of over one billion US dollars for the first time in its history (KRW997.3 billion, US$1.041 billion, €693 million).
Hankook Tire, once again, exceeded market expectations with global sales increasing 18.4% year-on-year.  The company also recorded operating profit of 7.4% in the first quarter of 2008.  Sales within the UHP business accounted for US$96.6 million and sales to OE manufacturers also increased by 15.7% year-on-year. Sales to Europe grew by 25.5% year-on-year, boosted by significant growth of 183% year-on-year sales to Russia market. Sales to North America also recorded an 18.1% year-on-year increase.  In addition, sales to Other Markets** increased year-on-year by 22.5%.
Mr. Seung Hwa Suh, Global CEO of Hankook Tire said, “Our long-term and consistent investments continue to strengthen our technology, and the surge in sales for our high-end products reflects our growing reputation for providing high-quality, high-performance tires.  The company is in a strong position to build on this reputation, and we should continue to highlight the quality and technology behind our tires to sustain success in emerging markets, as well as continue to challenge in other more established markets.”
Rising supply costs continue to shape a challenging business environment for all tire makers.  Hankook Tire cost of sales, which include investments throughout its production facilities to increase production capacity to 74 million tires by the end of 2008, increased by 21.9% to KRW 739.6 billion..
Mr. Suh continued, “The tire industry is fiercely competitive and it is critical that we continue to manage costs effectively, while balancing investment to ensure sustained future growth.  We continue to take a long term view.  Demand for our quality products continues to outstrip supply and we are continuing to increase production in all countries where we are manufacturing.”
The first four months of 2008 have been successful for Hankook Tire.  Throughout March and April, Hankook Tire received blanket industry endorsement in the major German automotive magazines’ summer tire tests.  Hankook Tire was the only tire manufacturer to receive top honours in all UHP-category tests for three of its core products distributed in Europe: Ventus S1 evo; Ventus V12 evo; and Ventus Prime. 
The company also globally introduced Kontrol Technology at Auto Beijing on April 21.  Kontrol Technology is a set of technological innovations applied throughout research, development and production to ensure controlled driving experiences.  The campaign, to be rolled out at different stages market-to- market, will make it easier for customers and dealers to understand the advanced technology behind the company’s tires.
* According to Modern Tire Dealer (Jan. 2008)
** Other Markets comprise sales from Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.
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