SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's
second-biggest automaker, on Friday reported a 36 per cent rise in
net profit for the second quarter on cost-cutting and strong
domestic sales of the large-size Opirus sedan.
For the three months through June, Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai
Motor Co., posted a net profit of 61.4 billion won (US$67 million),
up from 45.1 billion won a year earlier.
``Increased domestic sales of the luxury sedan gave a boost to
second-quarter results. About 2,000-2,500 units were sold a month,
higher than 500 units (sold in a month) in the year-earlier
quarter,'' said Kang Hyun-Geun, a company spokesman.
However, overall sales fell 7.3 per cent to 4.14 trillion won
($4.5 billion) from 4.46 trillion won a year ago.
The number of vehicles sold during the quarter slid 1.4 per cent
to 289,334 units from 293,502 units in the same quarter in 2006.
The company's botton line did get a boost from the resumption of
production at Kia's main Hwaseong plant, which was shut for a month
in January for upgrading to produce the HM sport utility vehicle,
the company said. The shutdown at the plant led to production losses
of 22,000 Sorento midsize sport-utility vehicles.
``By launching the HM model later this year and wrapping up wage
negotiations with the union as quickly as possible, Kia will try to
post an operating profit for this year,'' Kia's Chief Executive Cho
Nam-Hong said in a statement.
Kia's domestic market share fell to 22.2 per cent in the first
half from 23.3 per cent a year ago.