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Marginal rise in Hyundai net profit

Seoul, Nov. 11 (Reuters): Hyundai Motor Co, South Korea’s top auto maker, reported a surprise 1.7 per cent rise in quarterly profits on Tuesday, helped by a reduced tax burden and smaller losses at the firm’s financial units.

But tumbling operating profits underscored a difficult third-quarter at Hyundai, which suffered poor domestic sales, a month-long strike and a rising won currency in the period.

Analysts said Hyundai looks set for a better performance in the final quarter as it cranks up production to fill inventories depleted during the industrial action.

“In October alone, Hyundai’s factory utilisation rate topped 100 per cent, a really good sign for earnings at a capital-intensive car maker,” said Kim Hag-ju, a Samsung Securities analyst.

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