SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co. raised quarterly profit 46 percent as sales climbed in China, Europe and the U.S.
Buyers in its home market helped boost profit by purchasing more expensive models.
Net income was 1.88 trillion won ($1.75 billion) in the three months ended March 31, compared with a revised 1.28 trillion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing today. First-quarter sales gained 21 percent to 18.23 trillion won on a consolidated basis, it said.
Hyundai Motor lifted global sales by about 9 percent last quarter from a year earlier after adding new models including the Grandeur premium sedan at home and Accent small car in China since late 2010.
The carmaker may continue to gain sales this year as Toyota Motor Corp. and other Japanese rivals curtail production following a record earthquake in March.
"Hyundai's showing strong earnings momentum on new models and improved quality," said Lim Jeong Seok, head of equity at KDB Asset Management Co. "I expect the trend will continue for the next two to three years, leveling up the stock performance, too."
Operating profit, or sales minus the costs of goods sold and administrative expenses, rose 46 percent from a year earlier to 1.83 trillion won.
The maker of the Sonata sedan and Elantra small car sold 922,000 units in the January to March period, 9 percent more than a year earlier, according to company data.