01/26/2012 12:47 EST | Updated 03/26/2012 05:12 EDT

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor reports record $7.2 billion profit last year

SEOUL, South Korea - Hyundai Motor Co. says its 2011 earnings reached a record high on increased demand at home and abroad.

The company said Thursday that its net profit reached 8.1 trillion won ($7.2 billion) last year. The company had earned 6 trillion won a year earlier.

Company officials said in a telephone conference that sales increased in countries such as the United States and China as well as at home.

Hyundai Motor is South Korea's largest automaker and is a major force in the global auto industry.