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Hyundai Motor posts first sales drop in 3 years as stronger won bites

South Korea's Hyundai Motor 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 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.

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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 comeptitiveness in the United States and other key export markets.

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In its lucrative home market of South Korea, Hyundai's sales slumped as imported rivals like Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz boosted sales after trade deals.


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