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Kia Posts Steady Q4 Earnings, Aims for Growth in 2024

Source: Kia

Seoul, South Korea - Kia Corporation (KRX: 000270) recently announced its fourth quarter and full-year results, demonstrating steady performance despite economic headwinds.

Kia posted a slight 0.4% increase in global vehicle sales for the fourth quarter to 733,155 units. 

Outside Korea, sales increased 1.7% to 594,412 units, offsetting a 4.8% decline in the domestic market. 

Quarterly revenues increased 5% to KRW 24.33 trillion ($18.6 billion) due to higher volumes in North America and Europe and higher average vehicle prices.

However, operating profit fell 6% to KRW 2.47 trillion ($1.9 billion) due to increased incentives, currency effects and rising costs.

Kia maintained a double-digit operating margin of 10.1% for the fifth consecutive quarter.

Kia posted record results for the full year, with global sales up 6.4% to 3.09 million vehicles. 

Revenue rose 15.3% to KRW 99.81 trillion ($76.5 billion), while operating profit increased 60.5% to KRW 11.61 trillion ($8.9 billion), with a healthy margin of 11.6%. 

The company attributed the robust annual performance to its highest-ever volumes, a sales mix weighted toward high-margin models such as EVs, lower incentives, and positive currency translation.

Kia saw a strong uptake of its electrified lineup, which includes hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric variants. 

Global sales of electrified vehicles increased 18.1% to 143,000 units in the fourth quarter, representing 19.9% of total sales. 

For the year, sales of electrified vehicles also increased 18.2% to 576,000 units, representing 19.1% of total sales. 

The EV9 utility vehicle and upcoming launches such as the EV3 and EV5 underpin Kia's global electric ambitions in 2024.

Looking ahead to the new year, Kia predicts continued macro uncertainty but believes its EV leadership and lineup depth position it for continued growth. 

It targets a 3.6% increase in global sales to 3.2 million vehicles in 2024, with revenue reaching KRW 101.1 trillion and operating profit increasing to KRW 12 trillion with margins of 11.9%. 

As Kia increases investments to cement its electric transition, it also plans to boost shareholder returns through higher dividends and aggressive share buybacks.