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Title 7/31/2007 - Hankook Tire Second Quarter Results Show Strong Profitability Despite Increased Cost of Sales
Date 08/28/2007 Count 9300

Hankook Tire Second Quarter Results Show Strong Profitability Despite Increased Cost of Sales

- Sales show 11.4 percent year-on-year and 3.5 percent quarter-on-quarter, despite 9.8 percent increase in cost of sales

- Regional sales growth remains strong, with 23 percent increase in China, 11 percent in Europe and 13 percent in North America (RE Tires Only)

WAYNE, NJ - JULY 31, 2007 - Hankook Tire (www.hankooktire.com), one of the fastest growing tire manufacturers in the world*, today exceeded market expectations by announcing global sales of KRW872 billion ($938.9 million) in the second quarter of 2007, a year-on-year increase of 11.4 percent.

Although the cost of goods sold increased by 9.8 percent, reflecting increased costs for raw materials and higher labor costs, this was offset by higher prices and increased sales in both the RE (Replacement Equipment) and OE (Original Equipment) sectors of the business.

Regional growth remained strong, especially in China where sales increased by 23 percent (1.78 billion yuan), enabling Hankook Tire to maintain its position as the number one tire manufacturer in China. Exports for RE tires to Europe increased by 11 percent and North American exports grew 13 percent. The increases reflected greater downstream diversification of the customer base in both markets as well as a 19 percent increase in local OE sales.

Chief Strategy and Financial Officer Hyun Bum Cho said, “Our increased profitability is benefiting from a strategic focus on driving retail sales with more intensive marketing activities. Hankook Tire’s reputation for providing high quality, high performance tires continues to grow both within the OE market, where we are partnering with some of the world’s leading automakers, and also within the retail market.”

The increase in cost of sales was driven by a 4.5 percent increase in raw material costs, including an increase in price of natural rubber from $1,733 per ton in April 2007 to $1,967 per ton in June 2007, a total increase of $234 per ton within the quarter.

Consolidated operating profits increased by 9.9 percent year-on-year to KRW81 billion ($87.2 million). Sales, general and administrative expenses increased by 23.4 percent reflecting continued facility investment including the development of Hankook Tire’s first European factory in Hungary, which began production in June.

Mr. Cho continued, “Hankook Tire remains on track to meet our targets this year. Our expanding global presence, especially in China and Europe, provides us with a strong base for expanding both sales and the reputation of the brand. Investment in R&D remains a key driver of long term competitive advantage, but it is our ability to effectively manage increased costs through internal efficiencies and solid pricing strategies that enables to maintain profitability in the short to mid term.”

* According to Modern Tire Dealer (Jan. 2007), Hankook Tire’s 20 percent growth rate was the joint highest of all top eleven global tire manufactures

2007 Consolidated Profit (KRW)

(billion KRW) 06.Q2 07. Q2 YoY percent
Sales 782.7 872 11.4 percent
Operating Profit 73.7 81 9.9 percent

USD

  06.Q2 07. Q2 YoY percent
Sales 823.3 Million USD 938.9 Million USD 14 percent
Operating Profit 77.5 Million USD 87.2 Million USD 12.5 percent

Exchange Rate: 1USD = year average 2006 2Q: 950.64 KRW / year 2007 2Q average: 928.73 KRW
Percentage changes differ because of exchange fluctuations

About Tire America Corp.
Hankook Tire America Corp., headquartered in Wayne, N.J., is the seventh largest tire manufacturer in the US. Hankook is a technology-focused, market-driven company that markets and distributes a complete line of high performance and ultra-high performance passenger tires, light truck, SUV tires, as well as medium truck and bus tires to more than 400 independent dealers through 3000+ retail sales locations in the United States and Canada. For more information please visit Hankook Tires on the web at www.hankooktireusa.com.

For more information, please visit Hankook Tire’s web site at www.hankooktire.com.

Hankook Tire America Corp Media Contacts:
William Bainbridge Kim Milman Lucy Capurro
Director Brand Communication Account Director Account Executive
Phone : 973- 633-9000 ext. 531 Phone : 818-992-4353 Phone : 818-992-4353
Fax : 973 633-0028 Fax : 818-992-0543 Fax : 818-992-0543

wbainbridge@hankooktireusa.com

kmilman@jmprpublicrelations.com

lcapurro@jmprpublicrelations.com

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