, SEOUL, October 23- South Korea’s largest automaker, Hyundai Motor, posted a sharp drop Thursday of nearly 30 percent in third quarter net profit, mainly due to a stronger won and extended national holidays.
Net profit for the July-September period was down 28.3 percent on year to 1.61 trillion won ($1.53 billion), the company said in a regulatory filing.
Operating profit also dropped 18 percent on year to a four year low 1.65 trillion won, although sales gained 2.2 percent to total 21.28 trillion won, the company said.
Hyundai Motor sold nearly 1.13 million cars between July and September, up 1.8 percent from the year before.
“On average, the won gained six percent against the dollar in the third quarter from a year earlier, resulting in a sharp drop in profits,” the carmaker said.
A drop in output due to the extended Chuseok holidays in September further eroded the bottom line.
“We expect to see a better performance in the fourth quarter as the won’s appreciation will ease, the output by local plants will increase and the pace of the production of new models will pick up,” the company said.