Hyundai Motors' profits fall amid uncertain outlook

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Hyundai dealerImage source, AFP

South Korea's biggest carmaker, Hyundai Motors, has seen its profits fall for the eighth consecutive quarter, giving a cautious outlook for 2016.

Net profit in the months from October to December dropped by 2% to 1.6 trillion won ($1.4bn).

Earnings were weighed down both by stagnating demand in emerging markets and by discounts to revive sales in the US.

Shares in the carmaker fell by just over 1% on the news.

The overall net profit for 2015 was 6.4 trillion won, making it it Hyundai's lowest annual profit in five years.

Declining China sales

Sales fell by 7% in China, with the slowdown in the world's second largest economy taking its toll.

Other emerging markets also saw retail sales declining, while the US, EU, Korea and India saw a slight increase in the number of vehicles sold.

China and the US are Hyundai's two biggest markets.

The company warned the outlook for 2016 remains cloudy though.

"We expect the uncertainty surrounding the global auto market to persist this year," Hyundai said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors said they missed their global sales targets for last year for the first time since the financial crisis.

The carmakers, which together are the world's fifth largest automaker by sales, sold 8.01 million vehicles, compared with a forecast of 8.2 million.

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