Seoul – The competitive global tire market, automotive slowdown and trade conflicts in 2019 have impacted Hankook Tire’s operating profit, despite a slight growth in sales.
Operating profit fell 22.7% year-on-year in 2019 to KRW542 billion (€416 million), on 1.4% higher sales of KRW 6,900 billion, the South Korean tire maker reported 13 Feb.
Hankook, however, noted a 3.1% increase in sales of high-rim size tires, which contribute to more than half of its total sales.
Most noticeably, the tire maker said the sales of 17-inch and up tires grew in China, leading to a "much more stable growth" in the replacement tire market.
For 2020, the company expects revenues to reach KRW 7,200 billion and to improve operating profit margins.
To that end, the South Korean company said it was focusing on enhancing its “premium image” through increasing sales of high-inch tires in major markets and OE deals with premium cars.
In addition, the company said it was planning to build a “stable growth structure through securing new distribution channels” and “continuously optimising” its distribution strategies in different regions.
To cope with “the rapidly changing industry”, Hankook Tire also aims to strengthen its corporate culture with innovative ways of work for its employees.