Seoul, July 26 : Hyundai Motor, South Korea's biggest automaker, posted a double-digit fall in operating profit for the first half of this year, the company said on Wednesday.

Operating profit tumbled 16.4 per cent over the year to 2.6 trillion won ($2.3 billion) in the January-June period, Xinhua news agency cited Hyundai as saying in a statement.

Operating margin declined 1.2 percentage points to 5.4 per cent in the first half.

Revenue rose 1.4 per cent to 47.67 trillion won in the cited period, but net income sank 34.3 per cent to 2.32 trillion won.

A Hyundai Motor official said that though unexpected factors led to soft car sales in the Chinese market, global car sales expanded despite difficulties.

Hyundai's global auto sales shrank 8.2 per cent over the year to 2,197,689 units in the first half, but the global sales increased 1.5 per cent to 1,876,052 vehicles.

In the domestic market, Hyundai's car sales fell 1.7 per cent to 344,130 vehicles, while the figure in overseas markets slumped 9.3 per cent to 1,853,559 units in the cited period.

The company forecast continued uncertainties in the global auto market, caused by stiffer competition and changed market environment amid the worldwide trend of low growth.

As part of efforts to overcome the difficulties, Hyundai planned to provide customer-tailored sport utility vehicles (SUVs) for product competitiveness and to intensify research and development (R&D) capability for future mobility market.


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