(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details)
SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. said Thursday its fourth-quarter net profit more than doubled from a year earlier on improved chip supplies, strong demand for its high-end SUVs and a weak won.
Net profit for the three months ended Dec. 31 jumped to 1.709 trillion won (US$1.38 billion) from 701.37 billion won during the same period of last year, the South Korean carmaker said in a statement.
"An improved product mix, low incentives, the won's weakness (against the dollar) buoyed the quarterly bottomline despite high inflation and global economic slowdown," Seo Gang-hyun, executive vice president in charge of Hyundai's finance and accounting division, said in the company's earnings conference call.
Improved chip supplies led to increased production and sales, while increased sales of high-margin SUVs and a weak won enhanced profitability, he said.
The dollar rose to average of 1,359.26 won in the fourth quarter from 1,183.17 won a year earlier, according to the Bank of Korea.
Looking ahead, however, he expressed concerns that geopolitical risks such as the Russia-Ukraine war and possible U.S. rate hikes may continue to weigh on consumer demand this year.
The solid earnings results sent Hyundai Motor to close 5.6 higher at 174,900 won on Thursday, far outperforming the broader KOSPI's 1.7 percent gain.
Operating profit also more than doubled to 3.359 trillion won in the fourth quarter from 1.529 trillion won a year ago. Sales rose 24 percent to 38.523 trillion won from 31.026 trillion won during the same period.
For the whole of 2022, net income jumped 40 percent to 7.983 trillion won from 5.693 trillion won the previous year.
Operating profit climbed 47 percent to 9.819 trillion won from 6.679 trillion won during the mentioned period. Sales were up 21 percent to 142.528 trillion won from 117.611 trillion won.
In 2022, Hyundai sold 3.94 million vehicles in global markets and it aims to sell 4.32 million autos this year.
Of the overall sales target, the company aims to sell a total of 330,000 electric vehicles globally in 2023, up 54 percent from a year earlier. It plans to roll out 17 EV models by 2030, including six Genesis models.
Hyundai Motor said it will start construction on the 300,000-unit-a-year EV and battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. state of Georgia in the first half of this year, and begin production in the first half of 2025.
The maker of Sonata sedans and IONIQ EVs is targeting revenue growth of 10.5-11.5 percent this year and operating profit margin of 6.5-7.5 percent.
To help achieve the targets, the company plans to launch the all-electric IONIQ 6, the all-new Kona subcompact SUV, and the full-change Santa Fe SUV in global markets this year.
Hyundai plans to spend 10.5 trillion won this year, with 5.6 trillion won for facility investments, 4.2 trillion won for R&D activities and the remainder for other strategic purposes.