Big Firms' R&D Spending Rises 14 pct in 2022 Despite Lower Earnings | Be Korea-savvy

Big Firms’ R&D Spending Rises 14 pct in 2022 Despite Lower Earnings

This file photo shows the buildings of South Korea's major companies in Seoul. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows the buildings of South Korea’s major companies in Seoul. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, April 26 (Korea Bizwire)Major South Korean firms’ spending on research and development (R&D) swelled 14 percent in 2022 from a year earlier despite sharply decreased operating income amid an economic slowdown, a market tracker said Wednesday.

Combined R&D expenditures by 231 out of the country’s top 500 companies came to 68.4 trillion won (US$51 billion) last year, up 8.4 trillion won from a year earlier, according to CEO Score.

The tally covers businesses that have disclosed their R&D expenditures over the past three years. Financial companies were excluded.

Last year’s solid increase was seen as part of their efforts to secure future growth engines though their earnings shrank due to a global economic slowdown and falling exports.

The companies’ combined operating income tumbled 25.4 percent on-year to 123.7 trillion won last year, with their net income sinking 27.1 percent to 106.2 trillion won.

Of the total firms, 74.9 percent, or 173, boosted their R&D spending from a year earlier.

Chip and smartphone titan Samsung Electronics Co. was the top R&D spender with 24.9 trillion won last year, which was up 10.3 percent from 2021 and accounted for 36.4 percent of the total.

Samsung was followed by chip behemoth SK hynix Inc. with 4.9 trillion won, home appliances giant LG Electronics Inc. with slightly over 4 trillion won and leading carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. with 3.3 trillion won.

Mobile game developer Netmarble Corp. ranked first in terms of the R&D-to-sales ratio with 32.1 percent, followed by Naver Corp., the country’s largest internet portal operator, with 22 percent and gaming firm Krafton Inc. with 21.8 percent.

By industrial sector, spending by IT, electric and electronics firms was the largest at 40.8 trillion won, trailed by automakers and auto parts manufacturers with 8.9 trillion won and service firms with 5.3 trillion won, according to the data.


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