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KOSPI-listed firms' net profit hit record high in 2017: data

According to Yonhap News,

(SEOUL=Yonhap News) South Korean firms listed on the country's main KOSPI market reaped record net profits in 2017 thanks to export growth and solid chip sales, the bourse operator said Tuesday.

The combined annual sales of 533 KOSPI-listed companies, excluding financial firms, came to 1,823.1 trillion won (US$1,722.8 billion) last year, up 9.96 percent from the previous year, according to the Korea Exchange (KRX).

Their operating profits stood at 157.7 trillion won, marking a 28.17 percent increase on-year, and their net profits also surged 40.12 percent to 114.6 trillion won, it added.

It is the first time that the net profits of listed companies surpassed the 100 trillion won mark.

The upturn is mainly attributable to the overall growth in exports and the boom in the semiconductor market on the back of the brisk global economy, according to experts.

But the stellar performance is led by a handful of large-sized companies. The 10 largest companies accounted for 62.43 percent of the total operating profits.

Excluding top cap Samsung Electronics Co., the listed firms posted 1,583.5 trillion won in sales in 2017, up 8.76 percent from a year earlier, and their operating profits rose 10.94 percent on-year to 104.1 trillion won.

A total of 424 firms were in the black, while 108 showed operating losses, according to the KRX.

The secondary KOSDAQ-listed firms also enjoyed solid growth in terms of profits last year. The combined turnover of 861 KOSDAQ-listed companies increased 9.74 percent to 170.1 trillion won, operating profits advanced 11.86 percent to 9.8 trillion won and net profits rose 3.44 percent to 4.9 trillion won, the data showed.

"Such decent flow is expected to continue into this year, though profits may fall short," Chi Seok-won, an analyst at SK Securities, said. "Companies need to brace for possible fallouts from ongoing trade disputes between the United States and China."

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Source: Yonhap News (Apr. 03, 2018)

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