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Kia Corporation raised full year 2023 sales and earnings forecasts after reporting strong results for the second quarter including a 10% increase in sales worldwide to 807,772 vehicles and a 20% revenue rise to KRW26.2trn (US$20.5bn).

Operating profit rose 52% to KRW3.4trn while operating margin rose to an industry-beating 13% from 10% a year earlier due to higher average sales prices, improved product mix and favourable exchange rates.

Net profit increased 50% to KRW2.82trn.

Domestic sales rose 7.1% to 150,816 units in the second quarter while overseas sales increased 11% to 656,956 units, due to strong demand for SUVs and MPVs in North America and Europe.

First half sales increased 11% to 1,576,023 units with gross revenue rising 24% to KRW49.9trn year on year while operating profit increased 63% to KRW6.3trn and operating margin was 12.6%. Net profit rose 69% to KRW4.9trn.

Kia raised its full year revenue target to KRW100trn while operating margin was pegged at 11.5%-12% helped by a continued push to sell higher margin models.

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By GlobalData

The company said it was “confident of continuing its strong performance in the second half of 2023 despite persisting global economic uncertainty”. The company said it aimed to boost profit by lifting production to meet strong demand and further expand sales of higher margin recreational vehicles.

The automaker will continue launching the electric EV9 SUV in the second half with deliveries in North America and Europe scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter, followed by the EV5 compact electric SUV and EV6 electric sedan.