Sales revenue rose slightly as Hankook Tire & Technology Ltd.’s operating income fell 22.7.% to 5.4 billion won in 2019 compared to 7.0 billion won in 2018.
Hankook’s sales were up 1.5% in 2019 to 6.9 trillion won year over year.
The company did not release net income.
Hankook said the industry faced challenging market conditions in 2019 with a “slow global economy, U.S.-China uncertainties, decline of auto sales, softening demand and intense competition in the tire industry.”
However, a positive foreign exchange effect, improved product mix and the integration of Germany’s Reifen-Muller tire wholesaler and retailer helped Hankook overcome sales volume declines in major markets.
In the North America region, Hankook said U.S. sales showed a slight recovery but weak sales in Canada lowered overall sales for the region year over year. In addition, decreased vehicle production contributed to a drop in OE sales.
Sales of larger rim-diameter (over 17 inches) tires accounted for 55.4% of Hankook's global revenue in 2019 versus 52.3% in 2018.
In North America, sales of tires over 17 inches in diameter made up 69.4% of revenue in 2019’s fourth quarter versus 66.3% in the year-ago period.
Steps to boost Hankook's financial performance in 2020 include increasing year over year sales of tires with rim diameters 18 inches and larger by more than 20%.
The company said it is meeting rising global demand for high-inch fitments for sport utility and electric vehicle tires.