SEOUL (Bloomberg) -- Kia Motors Corp.'s second-quarter profit beat analysts' estimates after South Korea's second-largest carmaker sold more vehicles in China.
Net income excluding minority interests rose 7.7 percent to 1.18 trillion won ($1.06 billion), compared with 1.1 trillion won a year earlier, the Seoul-based company said in a statement issued Friday. Profit exceeded the 1.05 trillion won average of 18 analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg in the past 28 days.
Revenue increased 4.5 percent to 13.1 trillion won.
Kia's sales in China have jumped 22 percent on higher demand for its K3 sedan, while its Sportage SUV lifted deliveries by 1.5 percent in Europe, helping the automaker buck an industrywide slump in the region.
The gains countered falling demand for its vehicles in the United States, Kia's biggest market, and in South Korea.
"The boost in China sales helped Kia last quarter," Lee Hyun Soo, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said in an interview before the earnings announcement. "Moving forward, things look good with new model releases planned and a new plant to open in China next year."
Operating profit, or sales minus the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, fell 8.5 percent to 1.13 trillion won. That compares with the 1.01 trillion won average of 18 analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Kia's deliveries in China increased, helped by its K3 small sedan introduced in the country in October. Sales from its China factory rose 24 percent, according to data on the automaker's website.
The company's sales advanced 1.5 percent in Europe, led by sales of Sportage SUV and the new Cee'd hatchback. Industrywide deliveries in the region declined 4.1 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Kia spent 19 percent more on incentive costs for passenger cars in United States last quarter, according to Autodata. Its sales fell 0.2 percent last quarter, compared with the industrywide growth of 8.5 percent, according to company data.
The won strengthened 2.4 percent against the yen last quarter, curbing Kia and Hyundai Motor Co.'s competitiveness against Japanese automakers.
Sales at home fell 4 percent from a year earlier. The automaker in June started the planned increase in production of vehicles at its Gwangju factory. The output will be raised to 620,000 units from 500,000, enabling Kia to export more vehicles.
Kia's sales dropped 3.7 percent in Latin America, while industrywide deliveries in the region increased 7.9 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell 9.1 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding South Korea and China, according to company data on its website.
Hyundai Motor, which owns 34 percent of Kia, on Thursday reported second-quarter profit fell to 2.4 trillion won, beating the 2.37 trillion won average of 15 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg for 28 days.