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Title 4/30/2008 - Impressive $1 Billion Hankook Tire First Quarter Results
Date 05/15/2008 Count 8108

Impressive $1 Billion Hankook Tire First Quarter Results

Performance Fueled by Growing Reputation of Technology, High-Performance Tires

  • Global sales record more than US$1 billion (KRW997.3 billion), an increase of 18.4% year-on-year and an operating profit of 7.4%
  • Ultra-high performance (UHP) tire sales grew more than 40%, following clean sweep of performance categories in Germany’s 2008 summer tire tests
  • Emerging markets continue to show strong growth with 183% year-on-year growth recorded in sales to Russia
  • Hankook Tire to further boost high-performance sales through Kontrol Technology campaign, launched globally at Auto Beijing in April

WAYNE, N.J., 30th April - Hankook Tire (www.hankooktire.com), the seventh-largest and one of the fastest growing tire manufacturers in the world*, yesterday revealed year-on-year sales growth of more than 40 percent in its ultra-high performance (UHP) tire business, helping the company record sales of more than one billion US dollars for the first time in its history.

Hankook Tire, once again, exceeded market expectations with global sales increasing 18.4 percent year-on-year. The company also recorded operating profit of 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2008. Sales within the UHP business accounted for US$96.6 million. Sales to OE manufacturers also increased by 15.7 percent year-on-year.

Mr. Seung Hwa Suh, Global CEO of Hankook Tire said, “Our long-term and consistent investments continue to strengthen our technology, and the surge in sales for our high-end products reflects our growing reputation for providing high-quality, high-performance tires. The company is in a strong position to build on this reputation, and we should continue to highlight the quality and technology behind our tires to sustain success in emerging markets, as well as continue to challenge in other more established markets.”

Rising supply costs continue to shape a challenging business environment for all tire makers. Hankook Tire cost of sales, which include investments aimed at increasing production capacity to 74 million tires by the end of 2008, increased by 21.9 percent to $772 million (KRW 739.6 billion).

Mr. Suh continued, “The tire industry is fiercely competitive and it is critical that we continue to manage costs effectively, while balancing investment to ensure sustained future growth. We continue to take a long term view. Demand for our quality products continues to outstrip supply and we are continuing to increase production in all countries where we are manufacturing.”

The first four months of 2008 have been successful for Hankook Tire. Throughout March and April, Hankook Tire received blanket industry endorsement in the major German automotive magazines’ summer tire tests. Hankook Tire was the only tire manufacturer to receive top honors in all UHP-category tests for three of its core products distributed in Europe: Ventus S1 evo; Ventus V12 evo; and Ventus Prime.

The company also globally introduced Kontrol Technology at Auto Beijing on April 21. Kontrol Technology is a set of technological innovations applied throughout research, development and production to ensure controlled driving experiences. The campaign, to be rolled out at different stages market-to- market, will make it easier for customers and dealers to understand the advanced technology behind the company’s tires.

In North America first quarter sales increased 18.1 percent year-on-year.

“Awareness of our product in North America continues to grow, and therefore so does demand,” said Greg Pae, president of Hankook Tire America Corp. “We opened our sixth distribution warehouse in the United States in April to better serve our customers in the Midwest. We’re committed to growing our aftermarket and OE business in the States and we have long-term strategies in place to do so.”

* According to Modern Tire Dealer (Jan. 2008)

2008 Consolidated Profit

  07.Q1 08. Q1 YoY%
Sales 897 million USD 1.041 billion USD 16%
Operating Profit 81.9 million USD 77.2 million USD -5.7%
Recurring Profit 66.4 million USD 55.6 million USD -16.2%

* Average Currency Rate

  2007 1Q 2007 4Q 2008 1Q
1 USD 939 KRW 923 KRW 958 KRW
1 EURO 1,232 KRW 1,340 KRW 1,439 KRW

About Hankook Tire Co., Ltd
Hankook Tire (CEO: Seung Hwa Suh) is the seventh largest and one of the fastest growing tire manufacturers in the world. It produces innovative, superior quality high performance radial tires for passenger cars, light trucks (SUVs, RVs, and etc.), commercial trucks, buses and special motor sports vehicles. It invests approximately 5 percent of revenue in research and development and develops cutting-edge technologies through its five global R&D Centers meeting regional customer demands and enhancing customer satisfaction. Selling in 185 countries around the world, the company has more than 14,000 employees. Approximately 70 percent of revenue comes from growing overseas sales.

For more information, please visit the Hankook website at www.hankooktire.com

About Hankook Tire America Corp.
Headquartered in Wayne, N.J., Hankook Tire America Corp. 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 the Hankook website at www.hankooktireusa.com

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