Hyundai Motor Co. says its first-quarter profit fell 21 percent from a year earlier.

The company said Wednesday that its January-March net profit was 1.3 trillion won ($1.2 billion), compared with 1.7 trillion won a year earlier.

The result was slightly above the market consensus of 1.22 trillion won.

Sales rose 5 percent to 23.4 trillion won ($20.8 billion). Operating profit fell 7 percent to 1.3 trillion won.

Hyundai, along with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors, is the world's fifth-largest automaker.

The financial results come as the automaker struggles with lower sales in China and the United States, followed by massive recalls. Hyundai and Kia recalled 1.4 million cars in U.S., Canada and South Korea due to possible engine failures.