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Most Of South Korea’s Top Market Cap Firms Posted Improved Earnings In 2016

By February 13, 2017 at 7:12 am
A survey shows that 58 of the top 100 market cap firms posted higher sales in 2016, while 52 posted higher operating incomes. (Photo : Getty Images)

Improved sales and belt-tightening measures helped South Korea's biggest companies by market capitalization realize better profitability in 2016, according to industry data released Monday.

Out of the 100 biggest companies in South Korea in terms of market value, 75 posted a 12.4 percent increase in their operating income. Collectively, these companies recorded a combined 111.1 trillion won in operating income last year on combined sales of 1,344 trillion won.

In a separate report by market analysts last month, local companies listed in South Korea's main KOSPI market posted a record profit of over 100 trillion won last year. 

Big market cap firm Samsung Electronics' sales last year saw a 0.6 percent increase and operating income jumped 10.7 percent. The technology giant's operating profit in the first three months of 2017 is estimated to rise to 8.29 trillion won, up by 35 percent from the year-ago period.

South Korea's top steelmaker POSCO posted an 18 percent increase in its operating income to 2.84 trillion won despite recording a 15 percent decline in its sales.

Of the top 100 market cap firms that were surveyed, 58 saw an increase in their 2016 sales, while 52 companies recorded higher operating incomes.

Last year, companies listed in the KOSPI will likely surpass combined net profits of 100 trillion won and operating profits of 150 trillion won, according to NH Investment & Securities Co.

There were some top cap companies that didn't do well last year. Global chipmaker SK hynix Co.'s operating profit tumbled 43.4 percent to 3 trillion won. SK Telecom Co. posted a 4.2 percent drop in operating profit to 1.5 trillion won, while Hyundai Motor Co. fell 9.9 percent to 6.2 trillion won.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. recorded a 15 percent decline in sales to 39.32 trillion won, but operating income increased to 1.64 trillion won.

A market consensus is that most of the KOSPI-listed top 20 companies by market capitalization improved their earnings in 2016.

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