Kia announces 2023 fourth quarter business results

Itumeleng Garebatshabe
By Itumeleng Garebatshabe 194 Views 8 Min Read
8 Min Read
  • Kia posts 2023 Q4 global sales of 733,155 units, a 0.4% increase Y/y

           … Q4 revenue increased 5% to KRW 24.33 trillion

           … Operating profit of KRW 2.47 trillion; operating profit margin hits 10.1%

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           … Sales of electrified models increased 18% to 143,000 units

  • Kia posts 2023 annual global sales of 3.1 million units, a 6.4% increase Y/y

          … 2023 annual revenue increased 15.3% to KRW 99.81 trillion

          … Operating profit of KRW 11.61 trillion; operating profit margin hits 11.6%  

          … Kia records strongest annual business results across all metrics

  • In 2024, Kia targets total global sales of 3.2 million units

          … Aims for annual revenue of KRW 101 trillion

          … Targets operating profit of KRW 12 trillion; operating profit margin of 11.9%

  • Kia to continue solidifying its global EV leadership with strengthened lineups, including expanded sales of the EV9 and release of the new EV3

Kia Corporation today announced its 2023 fourth quarter and annual business results.

For 2023, Kia recorded global sales of 3,087,384 units, a 6.4 percent increase year over year. The company’s annual revenue also increased 15.3 percent to KRW 99.81 trillion. Operating profit climbed to KRW 11.61 trillion, up 60.5 percent compared with 2022, with an operating profit margin of 11.6 percent.

Kia achieved its strongest annual business results in 2023 across all business indicators. This was due to the company’s highest ever global sales, an enriched product mix centered on high-margin and high-value-added models, maintained low sales incentives, and favorable exchange rates.

Kia’s Q4 business results

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Kia reported global sales of 733,155 units, a 0.4 percent increase over its 2022 performance. Sales outside of Korea stood at 594,412 units, a 1.7 percent increase year over year, with sales in Korea of 138,743 units, a 4.8 percent decrease.

The strong demand in major regions such as North America and Europe led the company’s year-over-year sales increase outside of Korea. Sales in Korea declined slightly compared with the same period last year due to continued high interest rates, the end of individual consumption tax cuts and reduced sales of certain sedan models.

The company posted fourth quarter revenue of KRW 24.33 trillion, an increase of five percent compared with the same period a year earlier. Kia’s fourth quarter revenue was supported by increased sales in North America and Europe, as well as an increased vehicle average sales price (ASP), followed by enhanced sales of high-value-added models, such as EVs.

Despite lower raw material costs, the company’s quarterly operating profit decreased by six percent to KRW 2.47 trillion. This was due to higher incentives stemming from intensified competition, unfavorable Q4 exchange rates relating to the strength of the won, which increased in the fourth quarter of 2023, and greater costs.  

Kia achieved a quarterly operating profit of more than KRW two trillion, with a double-digit operating profit margin for five consecutive quarters since the fourth quarter of 2022.

Sales of electrified models

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Kia recorded global retail sales of 143,000 electrified vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric models, representing an 18.1 percent increase from a year earlier. In addition, as a percentage of the company’s total sales, Kia’s electrified models increased by 2.9 percentage points to a 19.9 percent share in the fourth quarter.

Electrified models were a major driving force in Kia’s vehicle sales during the final quarter of 2023. In Western European countries, sales of electrified models accounted for 42.5 percent of quarterly vehicle sales, with the proportion at 39.3 percent and 14 percent for Korea and the U.S. respectively.

In 2023, Kia sold a total of 576,000 electrified vehicles, an 18.2 percent year over year increase. Kia’s electrified models accounted for 19.1 percent of the company’s total sales, a 2.3 percentage point increase from a year earlier.  

2024 outlook

Kia anticipates global market uncertainties will persist in 2024, such as high interest rates and inflation. However, the company aims to further bolster its initiatives and achieve sustainable growth through its structured, positive business cycle and global EV leadership, which will be solidified by the brand’s expanded model lineup.

To achieve its aim, Kia will continue its sales growth of highly appealing models in major markets such as North America and Europe, where demand for high-value-added vehicles is strong.

Despite concerns over slowdowns in the EV market, Kia plans to strengthen its global leadership and sales, with the continued market rollout of the all-electric Kia EV9 three-row SUV – recently named the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year™ – in major markets, as well as enhancing the brand’s lineup with the new EV3 and EV5.

Through such plans, Kia is aiming for global sales of 3.2 million units in 2024, a 3.6 percent increase compared with 2023. Kia also aims to achieve revenue of KRW 101.1 trillion, an operating profit of KRW 12 trillion, and an operating profit margin of 11.9 percent this year.

Kia also plans to enhance shareholder value and return profits from high growth by setting the dividend per share at KRW 5,600, which will be confirmed during the annual shareholders’ meeting.

As part of the mid- to long-term share buyback program announced in early 2023, the company will continue to strengthen shareholder value by expanding the cancellation ratio of repurchased stock to 100% conditionally (originally 50%), in addition to buyback of up to KRW 500 billion annually.

(Revenue / Operating Profit / Net Profit unit: Billion KRW)

20232022
4Q4Q
Vehicle Sales (Units)733,1553,087,384730,2592,901,797
  Korea138,743565,826145,768541,068
Outside of Korea594,4122,521,558584,4912,360,729
Revenue24,328.299,808.423,164.286,559.0
Operating Profit2,465.811,607.92,624.37,233.1
Net profit1,620.18,777.82,036.55,409.0
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Itumeleng is the Managing Editor of The Auto Magazine. He is a tech and car enthusiast