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Hankook ups fiscal year sales by 13.7%

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Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. posted net sales of 7 trillion won for its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2012. That compares to sales of nearly 6.5 trillion won for 2011.

Based on the yearly average exchange rate, Hankook recorded net sales of more than $6.4 billion for 2012. That was 13.7% higher than in 2011, when net sales totaled more than $5.6 billion.

The company's operating income was up 57.9% year to year. When taking the exchange rate into account, operating income increased 65.7%, from $504.9 million in 2011 to $836.8 million.

Hankook credits the 8.3% increase in won sales largely to a sharp increase in sales performance of the company’s ultra-high performance tires and enhanced brand equity. Global UHP tire sales were up 30.2%. In Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Latin America, UHP tire sales were up 86.5% collectively.

Expansion of the original equipment fitment portfolio -- highlighted by growing partnerships with premium automakers such as BMW AG -- also contributed significantly to the company’s sales record.

“Despite stagnant global economic situation, Hankook Tire was able to continue its upward growth trend in 2012 by firmly placing our top priority to deliver the highest tire performance and quality to our customers around the world,” says Seung Hwa Suh, vice-chairman and CEO.

“We will continue our aggressive investment in R&D and brand equity enhancement in order to strengthen Hankook Tire’s position as a premium brand, and proactively pave our way towards becoming the global top-five tire company by 2014.”

Hankook Tire’s fiscal 2013 target for global sales revenue is 7.369 trillion won, which would be an increase of 4.8%.

Hankook Tire also recorded impressive growth in the United States. Its Hankook Tire America Corp. subsidiary says sales of $1.2 billion in 2012 were an increase of 20% over 2011. Increased brand recognition and demand, both in the areas of replacement and original equipment tires, was a leading factor to this growth.

“Our continued efforts to build brand awareness and to provide the highest level of product value have certainly helped us in the U.S., and we will continue our efforts in 2013 and beyond,” says Byeong Jin Lee, president of Hankook Tire America.

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