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Hyundai Motor has announced business results for the third quarter of 2018, reporting KRW24.4tn (US$21.351bn) in sales, which represents a one percent increase from the same period last year. Global sales decreased by 0.5% year-over-year to 1.12m units.

In spite of ‘difficulties caused by sluggish demand in major markets as well as uncertainties in the global trade environment’, Hyundai says SUV sales remained strong, led by the Santa Fe.

However, unfavourable exchange rates – such as a stronger Korean won against the US dollar and weakening emerging market currencies – suppressed profits and undermined the positive effects of the company’s product mix enhancement efforts, it said.

Excluding China, global sales volume in the July-September period rose 0.3% from a year earlier to 937,660 units. Total sales in markets other than Korea decreased by 0.4% to 949,785 units, mainly due to the fall in US and China sales, which offset a significant growth in the European market.

In the domestic market, total sales and production were heavily affected by fewer working days due to the celebration of Chuseok holiday in September. The company posted 171,443 units sold in Korea, a 1.4% decrease compared to the previous year.

Q3 operating income decreased by 76% year-over-year, at KRW289bn (US$253m). Net profit slid 67.4% to KRW306bn.

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By GlobalData

For the first nine months of this year, Hyundai Motor sold 3.36m vehicle units while posting KRW71.6tn, KRW1.92tn and KRW1.85tn in total revenue, operating profit and net income respectively.

Hyundai Motor says it plans to strengthen its model line-up for SUVs and luxury vehicles, while increasing investments in R&D and expanding strategic partnerships with global ICT leaders as an effort to tackle mounting market uncertainties. The company anticipates that the slowdown in the global automotive industry as well as concerns over global trade will continue in the fourth quarter.