The KIA logo.

Seoul - South Korea's Kia Motors said Friday its second-quarter profit fell 13.3 percent year on year, as a pick-up in sales was offset by a stronger won that hurt exports.

Net profit for April-June at the country's second largest auto maker came to 1.02 trillion won ($988 million), with unit sales up 4.3 percent year on year.

Operating profit plunged 31.7 percent on-year to 769.7 billion won in the three-month period.

“As the won remained high, profitability fell seriously as exports account for 75 percent of our business,” the company said in a press statement.

The South Korean currency rose more than eight percent against the US dollar in the second quarter, touching a six-year high.

A no-discount policy based on the popularity of its new models abroad and efficient marketing expenditure prevented a further drop in earnings, it said.

The company said it was facing fresh challenges in the second half of 2014, citing stiffer competition from rivals and global financial market uncertainties. - Sapa-AFP