Shown above is the head office of Hyundai Motor, which logged a record profit during the first quarter of this year to become the most profitable South Korean corporation by dethroning perennial champion Samsung Electronics. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor

Korean automaker beats Samsung Electronics

South Korea’s leading automaker Hyundai Motor announced on April 25 that it had racked up a record quarterly profit during the first three months of this year.

The Seoul-based company logged $ 28.2 billion in first-quarter sales, up 24.7 percent from a year before, for an operating profit of $2.7 billion, up 86.3 percent year-on-year.

The carmaker sold 1.02 million automobiles around the globe during the January-March period, up 13.2 percent from a year ago. The sales of electric vehicles amounted to 66,000, up 48 percent.

As a result, Hyundai Motor beat Samsung Electronics to become the most profitable company in South Korea as the latter struggled due to the slump in the memory chip business.

Samsung Electronics is the business bellwether in the global memory chip industry, followed by its cross-country rival SK hynix and Micron Technology in the United States.

Encouraged by the handsome income, Hyundai Motor promised to introduce various measures to boost the share price, including its new policy of setting the dividend payout ratio to 25 percent or higher.

It also pledged to cancel 1% of its treasury stock every year over the next three years as well as pay dividends quarterly. Up until now, it offered dividends twice a year.

“Hyundai Motor aims to secure robust profitability and achieve its annual guidance through increased sales, enhanced product mix with more SUVs and luxury models, and production rate recovery,” the company said.

The firm’s affiliate Hyundai Steel turned a profit during the first quarter by recording an operating income of $250 million. The steelmaker faced an operating deficit of $210 million over the final quarter of 2022.

In comparison, SK hynix announced Wednesday that it had suffered from a record quarterly deficit of $2.5 billion in the first quarter. Its revenue also dipped 58.1 percent year-on-year to $3.8 billion.

For the quarter that finished on March 2, Micron watched its revenue plunge 52 percent to $3.69 billion to net a loss of $2.3 billion during the three-month period.

Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.