SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) — Hyundai Motor Co. said Thursday its first-quarter net profit nearly tripled compared to a year earlier on a base effect and an improved product mix.

Net profit for the three months that ended in March jumped to 1.52 trillion won (US$1.36 billion) from 552.68 billion won a year ago, the company said in a statement.

The net result exceeded the median forecast of 1.32 trillion won by local brokerages.

In the first quarter, Hyundai suspended some of its assembly lines in Korea due to shortages of parts from China amid the coronavirus outbreak. There was no such one-off factor in its first-quarter results for this year.

Robust sales of its SUV and high-end Genesis models in the United States and emerging markets also helped offset the impact of the won’s strength against the U.S. dollar and drive up its quarterly net income, the company said.

Operating profit jumped 92 percent to 1.66 trillion won in the first quarter from an operating income of 863.78 billion won a year ago. Its operating profit margin also jumped to 6 percent from 3.4 percent over the mentioned period.

Hyundai offered fewer incentives and spent less on marketing costs in the U.S. market as it kept low inventories amid the pandemic. Moreover, strong demand for its SUVs pushed up prices, the company said.

Sales rose 8.2 percent to 27.39 trillion won from 25.32 trillion won over the cited period.