Korean Economy News
Improved earnings help Doosan Bobcat pay off a third of its $1.7 bn debt

By Woo Je-yoon and Lee Ha-yeon

Doosan Bobcat, compact construction equipment-making unit of South Korea’s Doosan Infracore Co., said Tuesday it has paid off $100 million worth of debts before they were due with its strong earnings in the first quarter.

With the latest move, Doosan Bobcat fully paid $520 million out of $1.7 billion in loan balance since 2014.

Its balance statement improved as a result and helped to further better its bottom line due to reduced interest cost.

Doosan Bobcat posted an operating profit of $88 million for the quarter ended March, up 19.8 percent from a year ago. Sales rose 20.3 percent to $812 million, and net income soared 60.6 percent to $58 million.

“We were able to increase investment for future growth and repay almost a third of corporate debt at the same time,” said a company official. “We’ll focus on expanding product lineup and improving productivity to strengthen our profit base and presence in the global market.”

Korea’s IBK Securities in its recent report maintained Doosan Bobcat`s stock price target at 48,000 won ($44.45), citing its positive outlook in the second quarter. Doosan’s U.S.-based affiliate has been outperforming its peers amid positive signs of booming housing markets and economic recovery, according to the investment firm.

Doosan Bobcat (formerly Bobcat) was acquired by Korean conglomerate Doosan Group at $4.9 billion in 2007 and went public in 2016.

On Wednesday, shares of Doosan Bobcat closed down 0.61 percent at 32,500 won.

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