SEOUL, South Korea — Kumho Tire Co. Inc. reported a 147.1% jump in pre-tax operating income for the quarter ended Sept. 30 on flat sales,
Operating income during the quarter rose to $126.4 million on sales of $745 million, raising the operating ratio 10 points to 17%.
Kumho's revenue through three quarters was up 14.1% to $2.29 billion on the strength of double-digit sales gains in the first and second quarters. Operating income for the nine-month period was up 127.2% to $340 million, or 14.9% of revenue. Kumho's net result was a $33.5 million profit, its fourth straight quarter in the black.
The Seoul-based tire maker didn't comment on the reasons for the sales slowdown in the third quarter but did note that nearly 39% of revenue came from sales of tires with rim diameters of 18 inches or greater, up 1.5 points over a year earlier.
Kumho's business in North America declined slightly (1.5%) during the quarter to $245 million. North America is Kumho's largest region, accounting for nearly one-third of the company's global sales revenue.
In the U.S., workers at Kumho Tire Georgia in Macon, Ga., ratified their first labor contract at plant recently, more than two years after the United Steelworkers was certified as the workers' bargaining agent.