Kia Motors reports 35 per cent slump in 1Q profit on lower domestic output

SEOUL, South Korea – Kia Motors Corp. says first quarter net profit tumbled 35 per cent from a year earlier due to a fall in vehicle production at domestic plants and lower exports.

South Korea’s second-largest automaker said Friday that profit fell to 783.9 billion won ($706 million) for the January-March period from 1.2 billion won a year earlier.

Sales fell 6 per cent to 11.1 trillion won and operating profit dropped 35 per cent to 704.2 billion won.

Kia blamed lower production on its union’s refusal to work extra shifts amid a dispute over compensation. Output at Kia’s South Korean plants fell 8 per cent, resulting in lost production of about 32,000 vehicles compared with a year earlier.

Kia is a unit of Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest auto maker.