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Hyundai Motor Posts First Sales Drop In Three Years As Stronger Won Bites

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor (005380.KS) posted its first year-on-year fall in quarterly revenue in nearly three years, as the stronger local currency weighed and imported rivals gained ground in the Korean home market.Hyundai Motor posts

Hyundai posted a revenue of 21.94 trillion Korean won ($20.56 billion) in the October to December period, a 3 percent fall from a year earlier. This marked its first year-on-year sales fall since at least 2011 when new accounting methods were adopted. Its global shipments went up 0.4 percent to 1.23 million vehicles in the fourth quarter.

However, its net profit jumped 15 percent to 2.06 trillion won, but missed a consensus forecast of 2.23 trillion. Its profit a year ago was hurt by provisions to cover the cost of compensating customers for overstated fuel-economy claims on some cars sold in the United States and Canada.

The South Korean won gained 3 percent against the dollar and surged 27 percent versus the Japanese yen in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, reducing the value of Hyundai Motor’s overseas revenue in local currency terms and lifting Japanese rivals’ price competitiveness in the United States and other key export markets.

In its lucrative home market of South Korea, Hyundai’s sales slumped as imported rivals like Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and Mercedes Benz (DAIGn.DE) boosted sales after trade deals. ($1 = 1067.3000 Korean won)

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Additional reporting by Sohee Kim; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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