Hyundai Motor Q1 net profit down 15%

South Korea's top automaker Hyundai Motor said Thursday net profit in the January-March quarter fell 15 percent from a year earlier, mainly due to work stoppages and a strong won.

The company's consolidated net profit for the first quarter fell to 2.088 trillion won ($1.87 billion) from 2.453 trillion won a year earlier, it said in a statement.

Operating profit was down 11 percent year-on-year at 1.869 trillion won as sales rose 6.0 percent at 21.367 trillion won.

"Cuts in weekend work and subsequent decrease in output at local factories amid slow demand in the domestic market resulted in the fall," Hyundai said, adding a strong won and a weak Japanese yen were also to be blamed.

Plant workers from Hyundai's 45,000-member union have refused to work weekends since March 9 following the implementation of a new shift arrangement that resulted in lower wages for weekend work.

The idling of plants cost the company an estimated 950 billion won in production losses.

The Korean won's strength against the yen contributed to the deceleration in profits by giving Japanese cars a competitive pricing edge in key overseas markets.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report --