Hyundai Motor posted a 37% increase in net income for the second quarter, beating consensus analysts' forecast after record overseas sales were achieved as supplies of Japanese cars were reduced after the March earthquake.

The company booked KRW2.3 trillion (US$2.2bn) net profit for the April-June quarter, up from KRW1.68 trillion a year ago. The consensus forecast from Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters ranged between KRW2.1 trillion and KRW2.2 trillion, Reuters noted.

“The combined net income of Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors is expected to hover around $2.75bn for the second quarter, which rivals that of Volkswagen forecast to post the biggest gain in the industry worldwide,” Kang Sung-min, an analyst at Hanwha Securities told the news agency.

Hyundai boosted second quarter overseas sales 13% to 1,039,088 cars while domestic sales rose 7.2% to 344,422 in the first half.

Hyundai claimed its US market share was now 5.5%, up from 4.7% in Q2 2010.

Analysts predicted it would post higher profit for the second half of the year even as major exporters lose momentum as global consumer sentiment becomes more pessimistic.

“Demand for Hyundai products is increasing with its quality improvement and brand power. The i40, as well as face lifting of the i30 and Santa Fe will drive its sales even higher,” Park In-woo, an auto analyst at LIG Investment & Securities said in a report cited by Reuters.