Global woes reflected in listed firms’ lower profits

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Global woes reflected in listed firms’ lower profits

Korean listed firms saw their net profit drop 20.6 percent in 2011 from a year earlier, as uncertainties in Europe and the United States affected the global economy, data showed yesterday.

The combined net profit of 325 firms listed on the Seoul main bourse reached 43.2 trillion won ($38.3 billion) as of end-2011, compared with 54.4 trillion won in the previous year, according to the data by the Korea Listed Companies Association (KLCA).

The 325 firms include those that close their books in December and have logged a change in gains or losses in profit through regulatory filings until Feb. 20, in line with local stock market regulations.

The firms’ combined operating profit fell 18 percent to 53.5 trillion won, from 65.3 trillion won tallied in the previous year. Sales reached a total of 867.3 trillion won, up 5.76 percent in the same period.

The profitability of the firms is lower than the level reached in 2007, just before the worldwide financial crisis triggered by the collapse of the Lehman Brothers, the KLCA said.

By sector, heavy industries including autos, and chemical companies fared well last year compared to 2010. Net profits of carmakers rose 5.15 percent, with numbers for chemical businesses gaining 1.39 percent. In contrast, tech companies saw their profits nearly slashed in half. Logistic firms went in the red in 2011.

The ratio of net income to net sales stood at 5.52 percent for large enterprises and 0.69 percent for smaller firms with assets below 2 trillion won in the cited period, the data showed. Yonhap

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