Hyundai Motor Co <005380.KS>, South Korea's top automaker, said its quarterly net profit rose 71 percent to a record high, beating estimates on healthy demand in the United States and China.
Hyundai, which with its affiliate Kia Motors Corp <000270.KS> is the world's No.5 car maker, reported a net profit of 1.39 trillion won ($1.17 billion) in the second quarter, versus a consensus estimate of 1.1 trillion won from 23 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
That compared with a 811.9 billion won profit a year earlier and previous record of 1.13 trillion won in the first quarter of 2010.
Hyundai, maker of the Sonata sedan, announced a 863.3 billion won operating profit in the quarter ended on June 30, above a forecast of 801.3 billion won profit.
The car maker may face a tough road ahead in the second half with worries over the strength of the U.S. and European economies which will likely crimp car demand, as well as rising raw material costs.
But new models, such as a revamped version of its best selling Elantra compact, will help it recapture domestic customers from its competitors, analysts said.
Since the beginning of the year, shares of Hyundai have risen about 20 percent, outperforming a 5 percent gain in the wider market <.KS11>.
(Reporting by Cheon Jong-woo; Editing by Lee Chyen Yee, Lincoln Feast and Jonathan Hopfner)