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Jan. 26, 2021, 1:14 a.m. EST

Hyundai profit up 78%, driven by model launches

By Kwanwoo Jun

Hyundai Motor Co.'s fourth-quarter net profit jumped 78% on new model launches, confirming the South Korean auto maker remained on track for a recovery.

Net profit was 1.377 trillion won ($1.25 billion), compared with KRW772.07 billion a year earlier, the company said Tuesday. That missed a FactSet consensus forecast for net profit of KRW1.432 trillion.

Hyundai Motor said earnings improved despite an overall sales drop, as it benefited from a good mix of higher-value and luxury new models in its shipments.

Revenue for the period rose 5.1% to KRW29.243 trillion and operating profit increased 41% to KRW1.641 trillion.

For the full year, net profit fell 34% to KRW2.118 trillion and revenue dropped 1.7% to KRW103.998 trillion.

Hyundai Motor said its global car sales fell 1.0% in the fourth quarter and plunged 16% in 2020.

While shipments to China and India rose 7.8% and 15%, respectively, those to the U.S. and Europe dropped 2.5% and 8.0%, respectively, in the final quarter of the year, it said.

Hyundai Motor expects car sales in 2021 to rise on a global recovery in demand and its planned launch of new models, including electic vehicles in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Hyundai Motor shares fell 3.1% after the earnings announcement.

Write to Kwanwoo Jun at kwanwoo.jun@wsj.com

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