Hyundai Q1 profit up 47 per cent

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While Japanese manufacturers struggle with poor first quarter earnings, Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. rolls merrily along, reporting a 47 per cent leap in quarterly profit.

News outlets are reporting that Hyundai’s shares hit a record high after the release of its Q1 report.

“Hyundai has been emerging as an alternative to Japanese cars, shaking off its image as a maker of cheap cars,” Lee Dong-jin, a fund manager at KTB Asset Management told Reuters News Agency.

“It's now seeing some benefits from increasing production at overseas plants while the world took a hit from the financial crisis.”

Hyundai reported $1.6 billion in net profits in Q1. According to reports, the automaker reported earnings on a “consolidated basis to reflect earnings of its affiliates including financial operations under new accounting rules, and there were no consensus guidelines for the result.”

Much of the Korean juggernauts growth came from North American markets, the automaker said.

Hyundai Cars Canada sales jumped to 11,668 in March alone – good enough for a 6.6 per cent jump on already high sales totals from this time a year ago.

- with files from Reuters News Agency