SEOUL, July 23 (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Co 005380.KS, South Korea’s top automaker, posted on Thursday a record quarterly net profit with a surprise 48 percent jump in earnings as a weaker won helped offshore sales and government measures boosted local demand.
Hyundai, the world’s No.5 car maker along with its affiliate Kia Motors Corp 000270.KS, posted a net profit of 811.9 billion won ($649.9 million) in the second quarter, soundly beating a 456 billion won forecast by 10 analysts in a Reuters poll.
That compared favourably with a 546.9 billion won net profit a year earlier and marked a strong gain from a 225 billion won profit posted in the first three months of the year.
The maker of the Elantra compact car reported a 657.3 billion won operating profit in the April-June period, also larger than a forecast for a 496.5 billion won profit.
Hyundai and Kia are expected to continue to outperform their rivals fuelled by a weaker won currency, an increasing appetite for smaller cars and improving brand image, analysts said.
Reflecting Hyundai’s bright outlook, the company’s shares jumped more than a third in the quarter ended on June 30, outpacing the wider market’s .KS11 15 percent gain. ($1=1249.1 Won) (Reporting by Cheon Jong-woo; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Jonathan Hopfner)