SEOUL, Oct. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Combined sales of South Korean companies rose 2.6 percent in 2016 from a year earlier due to brisk construction and housing businesses, central bank data showed Tuesday.
The Bank of Korea (BOK) said sales of the manufacturing sector fell 0.5 percent in 2016, compared to a 3-percent contraction in 2015. Meanwhile, sales in the non-manufacturing sector grew 5.4 percent in 2016 from a year earlier, driven by the construction and housing businesses
Conglomerates said their sales dropped 1.6 percent in 2016, compared to a 4.7-percent decrease posted a year earlier.
Small and medium-sized enterprises posted an 8.9-percent increase in sales last year, up from an 8-percent expansion in 2015, the BOK said, citing its survey on 615,316 companies across the country.
The central bank said companies’ operating profit margin came to 5.5 percent in 2016, the highest since 2010 when it stood at 5.3 percent. The 2016 operating profit margin means that companies earned 55 won whenever they sold a product worth 1,000 won (US$0.84).
The companies’ financial health slightly improved as their assets grew 6.3 percent on-year in 2016, while their debt to equity ratio fell to 121.3 percent in 2016 from 128.5 percent in the previous year.