SEOUL, April 13 (Korea Bizwire) — Renault Samsung Motor, the local unit of French automaker Renault S. A., saw its profit surge last year thanks to strong sales of cars at home and abroad, a result that far outperformed GM Korea, its larger rival operating in South Korea, data showed Monday.
In a regulatory filing, Renault Samsung, the fourth-largest carmaker by sales here, said it posted 196.8 billion won (US$179.8 million) in net profit last year, an 11.5-fold rise from a year earlier.
This is the second straight year that the company has posted a profit and represents a much larger increase over 2013, when its net profit came to 17.1 billion won.
Its operating profit also more than tripled to 147.5 billion won, with sales growing 27 percent on-year to 3.09 trillion won last year.
Renault Samsung said that it sold 169,854 cars last year, up 29.6 percent from a year earlier. It sold 80,003 and 89,851 cars at home and abroad, respectively.
In particular, its domestic sales were driven by a better-than-expected market response to its QM3 compact sport utility vehicle, whose sales totaled 18,191 units last year, well beyond its initial target of 8,000 units.
Its stellar performance drew a stark contrast with GM Korea, the third-largest among foreign carmakers operating in South Korea, which saw its overall business performance worsen last year.
GM Korea said that it turned to a net loss of 353.3 billion won last year and also posted an operating loss of 148.5 billion won. Its sales shrank 17.2 percent on-year to 12.92 trillion won.
The automaker sold 630,532 cars last year, a 19.2 percent drop from a year earlier. The decline stemmed from its lackluster overseas sales, which nosedived 24.4 percent on-year to 476,151 vehicles.
The sluggish sales were largely affected by the pullout of its Chevrolet-badged vehicles from Europe, the company earlier said.