Spurred by increased sales in China, Kia’s second quarter profits were up 7.7% from last year, to 1.18 trillion won ($1.06 billion), exceeding analysts expectations slightly. Revenue was up 4.4% to 13.1 trillion won ($1.168 billion).
Sales in China, affected by the territorial island dispute between China and Japan, were up 22% driven by demand for the K3 sedan. Sales in Europe bucked the general trend in the moribund market and were also up slightly, 1.5%, lifted by sales of the Sportage SUV and the Cee’d hatchback. The strengthened South Korean currency, which rose 2.4% against the yen in the quarter, hurt sales in the United States, Kia’s biggest market. Sales in the States fell just barely, 0.2%, compared to an industry average of +8.5%, and that was even after Kia increased spending on incentives by 19% in the quarter.
Sales for the domestic Korean market were down 4% from the same period last year, and were down 3.7% in Latin America at a time when industry sales were up 7.9%. Excluding South Korea and China, sales in Kia’s Asia-Pacific region were down 9.1%.