By Heekyong Yang and Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) -Hyundai Motor Co on Monday posted a 19% rise in first-quarter profit as favourable exchange rates offset a jump in raw material costs and a drop in sales caused by the prolonged global chip shortage.

Net profit climbed to 1.6 trillion won ($1.28 billion) for the January-March period.

That compares with 1.3 trillion won a year earlier and a Refinitiv SmartEstimate of 1.4 trillion won profit drawn from 15 analysts.

“Robust sales of SUV and Genesis luxury models, declining incentives, and a favorable foreign exchange environment helped lift revenue in the first quarter despite the slowdown in sales volume amid an adverse economic environment,” Hyundai said in a statement.

The South Korean won was nearly 7% weaker against the U.S. dollar in January-March than the same period a year earlier, boosting the value of earnings garnered abroad.

Hyundai’s global vehicle sales, however, slid nearly 10% during the quarter, as the chip shortage slowed production.

Shares in the automaker was trading down 1.1% after the results compared with a 1.5% decline in the benchmark KOSPI.

Hyundai and affiliate Kia Corp together form the world’s fourth-largest automotive group by sales.

($1 = 1,249.1500 won)

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)