Hankook Tire Hits Record Global Sales and Operating Profit in 2009

    
       - Strengthens Position as a Leading Global Tire Manufacturer -

    -   Global sales increased by 18 per cent year-over-year and the global
        operating profit recorded nearly a five-fold year-over-year increase
    -   Hankook Tire aggressively sets its 2010 global sales target to exceed
        4.6 Billion Dollars CAD (5.1 trillion KRW) for the first time in its
        history
    

BRAMPTON, ON, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - Hankook Tire announced its consolidated earnings results for fiscal year 2009. On a consolidated basis, Hankook Tire's global sales hit a record high 4.3 billion dollars CAD (4.8 trillion KRW), an 18 per cent year-over-year increase. The operating profit for 2009 was nearly five times greater than in 2008, 104 million dollars CAD (114.2 billion KRW).

Based in Seoul, South Korea Hankook Tire is the seventh largest tire manufacturer globally with 14,000 employees in 30 countries, including Canada. Its products are sold in more than 180 countries. Hankook has a reputation for high quality products and service, which has helped the manufacturer gain market momentum in 2009 despite a weaker global automotive market.

Compared to the global tire industry, Hankook performed above average with some other manufacturers in the sector reporting loses.

A key strategy driving Hankook's success was to establish solid footholds in diverse markets. This included accomplishments in:

    
    -   Canada: Announced partnership with Hockey Canada, with Hankook as the
        official tire of Hockey Canada
    -   North America: Increased brand awareness through ongoing marketing
        communications efforts
    -   China: 54 per cent increase in local sales to car manufacturers
        including Audi
    -   Korea: Largest tire manufacturer with a dominant market share of more
        than 50 per cent
    -   Middle East: 25 per cent increase in total sales
    -   Europe: Improved productivity in the newly built Hungarian plant
    

Another accomplishment that led to growth was the positive results in Ultra High Performance (UHP) tires, proving that Hankook Tire's superior quality and service were acknowledged by customers worldwide. The overall global sales of UHP tires marked a 9.6 per cent year-over-year increase. In particular, Hankook Tire's UHP supplies to global carmakers showed remarkable growth, up over 129 per cent globally, and 46 per cent in China.

Having a positive outlook for 2010, Hankook Tire is aggressively targeting global sales of 4.6 billion dollars CAD (5.1 trillion KRW) for the first time in its history, a company milestone.

As a leading global manufacturer, Hankook Tire is committed to eco-friendly products and technology as well as customer safety through ongoing research and development. Hankook invests approximately five per cent of its revenue in R&D each year, and has five global R&D Centers to meet regional customer demands.

When asked to reflect on 2009 and look forward into 2010, Mr. Seung Hwa Suh, Vice Chairman & CEO of Hankook Tire stated, "We are proud of our astounding achievements in 2009 which were made possible by our market diversification strategies and our dedication to attaining premium quality." Mr. Suh added, "For 2010, we set an aggressive sales target of 5.1 trillion KRW (4.6 billion CAD) and will continue to prove that we are developing sustainable growth worldwide. We also aim to expand consumer trust through ongoing efforts in product safety and environmental stewardship."

* 1 KRW = 0.000913853 CAD (based on exchange rate February 2, 2009)

About Hankook Tire Canada Corp.

Headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, Hankook Tire Canada Corporation is a technology focused, customer-oriented company that markets and distributes a complete line of high performance and ultra-high performance passenger tires, light truck and SUV tires, winter tires and medium truck and bus tires in Canada. With quality-proven products, Hankook Tire Canada is rapidly growing to become an industry leader in Canada. As the National Partner and the Official Tire of Hockey Canada, Hankook Tire Canada actively supports grassroots sports and contributes back to local communities. Visit www.hankooktire.ca for more details.

About Hankook Tire Co., Ltd

Hankook Tire (Vice Chairman & CEO: Seung Hwa Suh) is the seventh largest and one of the fastest growing tire manufacturers in the world. It produces innovative, superior quality, and high performance radial tires for passenger cars, 4x4s, SUVs, light trucks, campers, trucks, buses and motor sports. It invests approximately five per cent of its revenue in research and development and develops cutting-edge technologies through its five global R&D Centers, meeting regional customer demands and enhancing customer satisfaction. Hankook sold in over 180 countries around the world, and has more than 14,000 employees. Approximately 70 percent of its revenue comes from growing sales overseas.

For more information, please visit Hankook Tire's global web site at http://www.hankooktire.com

    
    2009 Consolidated Profit - Global (Tire Sales Only)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (Unit: Billion KRW,                                YoY
        Million CAD)     FY 2008         FY 2009        %     FY2010 Target
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Currency       KRW    CAD $    KRW    CAD $    18%     KRW     CAD $
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Sales       4,076.5  3,722  4,809.9  4,392    18%  5,095.4  4,650.6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating Profit   114.2  104.3    549.3  501.6   381%    550.2    502.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

SOURCE HANKOOK TIRE CANADA CORP.

For further information: For further information: Joseph K. Park, Hankook Tire Canada Corp., (905) 463-9802, josephpark@hankooktire.ca; Mark van Tol, NATIONAL Public Relations, (416) 848-1411, mvantol@national.ca

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HANKOOK TIRE CANADA CORP.

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