Kia Motors Corporation today announced its 2019 fourth-quarter business results, reporting a 20 percent rise, year-on-year, in quarterly revenue – driven by increased sales of new models and aided by favorable currency exchange rates.
Kia Motors recorded sales revenue of KRW 16.11 trillion throughout the final quarter of the year, 20 percent higher than the KRW 13.47 trillion recorded over the same period in 2018.
Kia’s fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 55 percent, year-on-year, to KRW 590.5 billion, up from KRW 382 billion in the final quarter of 2018.
Seltos shines in India
Kia's growth was supported by the ongoing success of the brand’s latest models, with the Seltos SUV, Telluride midsize SUV, and K7 sedan leading the enhanced Kia global product mix. Entry into new global markets such as India further enhanced profitability.
The Seltos SUV, which won the Autocar India 2020 Car of the Year title, sold a total of 45,226 units, giving the Kia brand a 6.23 percent market share of the Indian utility vehicle market, and a significant boost to Kia's revenue and profitability. In a scant five months, it has already been the best-selling UV for two months in a row.
The Telluride SUV, which won the coveted 2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award earlier this month, booked retail sales of around 58,000 units in the US alone.
Fourth-quarter net profit (including non-controlling interests) more than tripled to KRW 346.4 billion, compared to KRW 94.3 billion posted in the same period in 2018, when a one-off expense weighed on the company’s results.
Unit sales in final quarter of 2019 declined by 1.4 percent year-on-year to 728,296 units from 738,915 (wholesale basis).
For full-year 2019, Kia’s revenue rose 7.3 percent to KRW 58.15 trillion from KRW 54.17 trillion in 2018, while operating profit soared 74 percent to KRW 2.01 trillion, up from KRW 1.16 trillion. Net profit rose 58 percent to KRW 1.83 trillion.
Full-year global unit sales declined 1.4 percent from 2018 to 2.77 million units, with 520,205 units sold in Korea and 2.25 million across the rest of the world.
2020 sales target: 2.96 million units
For 2020, Kia is targeting global sales of 2.96 million units, with a ‘golden cycle’ of new models helping the company counter the low-growth trend across the global auto industry.
The company will continue to strengthen its future competitiveness by implementing its ‘Plan S’ mid- to long-term strategic roadmap. Plan S was announced earlier this month, outlining a pre-emptive shift to electrification and the roll-out of next-generation mobility solutions. Under Plan S, Kia announced plans to introduce 11 battery-electric models across its product line-up over the next five years to secure a 6.6 percent share of the global EV market by the end of 2025. Kia also aims to achieve a 6 percent operating profit margin by 2025.