SEOUL, Oct. 29 (Yonhap) — Hyundai Mobis Co., South Korea’s biggest auto parts maker, said Thursday its third-quarter net profit fell 33 percent from a year earlier as the COVID-19 pandemic affected vehicle sales.

Net profit for the three months that ended in September fell to 391.3 billion won (US$346 million) from 581.9 billion won in the same period of last year, the company said in a statement.

“The coronavirus outbreak continued to weigh on consumer sentiment and vehicle sales in the third quarter, driving down the net figure,” a company spokesman said.

Equity losses from its affiliate Hyundai Motor Co. also cut into the quarterly bottom line, as the carmaker put aside 2.1 trillion won in provisions for the recall of a faulty engine and preemptive measures for quality management, he said.

Late last year, Hyundai Motor Group reached a settlement with car owners over its Theta II gasoline direct injection (GDi) engine for problems, such as engine stalling and non-collision fires, in the United States.

Operating profit declined 0.9 percent to 598.3 billion won in the third quarter from 603.9 billion won a year ago. But sales rose 5.8 percent to 9.99 trillion won from 9.44 trillion won during the same period.

Increased sales of components for electrified vehicles and SUVs propped up sales in the past quarter, it said.

Hyundai Mobis is a key affiliate of Hyundai Motor Group, which has Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. under its wing. It earns 90 percent of its overall sales from the two carmakers.

In addition to orders from Hyundai and Kia, Hyundai Mobis has received $1.28 billion worth of parts orders from multinational carmakers in the January-September period, achieving 76 percent of its annual overseas order target of $1.7 billion.

In the first nine months, net profit declined 43 percent to 974.9 billion won from 1.71 trillion won in the year-ago period.

Operating profit fell 35 percent to 1.13 trillion won from 1.72 trillion won. Sales were down 6.1 percent to 25.95 trillion won from 27.65 trillion won.

Hyundai Motor owns a 34 percent stake in Kia Motors, while Kia holds a 17 percent stake in Hyundai Mobis.

On Thursday, Hyundai Mobis plunged 5.7 percent to 238,000 won, underperforming the broader KOSPI’s 0.8 percent loss. Hyundai Motor fell 2 percent to 170,000 won, and Kia declined 1.5 percent to 53,000 won.