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Kia Reports Big Bump In Earnings

Hyundai’s “weak” sibling defies critics.

by on Nov.01, 2010

The launch of the new Optima is expected to drive a strong performance for Kia during the fourth quarter and beyond.

Defying critics, the once-bankrupt Kia has posted a 66% increase in earnings for the third quarter, and with strong global demand and some critical new product in the pipeline the Korean carmaker is looking at further gains in the final three months of the year, according to forecasts.

Net income for the quarter ending September 30 soared to 666.6 billion won, or $593 million, compared with 402 billion during the third quarter of 2009, the maker reports.  Significantly, that was more than 30% better than the 504 billion won forecast by a consensus of industry analysts compiled by the Bloomberg news service.

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Revenues rose by 26%, to 5.69 trillion won reflecting a 24% global increase in unit sales.  Notably, in the Korean home market, Kia volumes were up 25%, even as the maker’s “stronger” parent brand, Hyundai, reported a decline of 12%.

The latest and projected numbers underscore the dramatic turnaround underway at Kia, which was taken under the Hyundai wing when it nearly collapsed in 1999, during the Asian economic meltdown.