Hyundai Motor reports 22percent drop in 4Q earnings as emerging market currencies fell

MarketsAssociated Press

Hyundai Motor Co. suffered a drop in quarterly earnings and is forecasting weak sales growth this year.

South Korea's largest automaker said Thursday its September-December net income dropped 22 percent from a year earlier to 1.66 trillion won ($1.53 billion).

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The median expectation of analysts surveyed by financial data provider FactSet was a 2 trillion won profit.

Sales rose 8 percent to 23.6 trillion won.

Hyundai blamed foreign exchange rates. Even though the local currency fell against the U.S. dollar in favor of Hyundai, the won rose against the Russian ruble and the currencies of other emerging market nations.

It also had to give more incentives to consumers in the U.S. to weather competition.

Hyundai forecast annual sales will grow just 1.8 percent, the weakest growth rate in recent years.