SEOUL, South KoreaHankook Tire Co. Inc. reported record annual operating profit of $941.5 million for fiscal 2013, while sales edged up 0.3 percent over 2012 to $6.45 billion.
Hankook attributed earnings growth of 12.2 percent to the above-average growth of higher-value UHP tires, which accounted for 26.5 percent of the firm's annual revenue last year.
The operating income ratio of 14.6 percent is one-and-a-half percentage points ahead of the 2012 ratio. Hankook did not disclose net income at this time. The company is considered the world's seventh largest tire maker.
Hankook did not provide regional sales breakdowns, but did say China and Europe led all markets in UHP tire sales at 13.6- and 12.9-percent increases, respectively, over 2012.
Hankook noted its OE business increased last year, especially in the premium sector where it gained fitments with Mercedes-Benz and several top-selling models of top Japanese auto brands.
Seung Hwa Suh, Hankook vice chairman and CEO, attributed his company's strategic investments and future-oriented research and development with helping to solidify Hankook as a global top-tier tire brand and said Hankook will further accelerate its growth in 2014.
Among the firm's investments are expansion projects in Indonesia and Chongqing, China, as well as the decision to build a U.S. tire plant and a central R&D center and engineering center in Korea.