SEOUL, April 2 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s top 10 conglomerates reduced their donations for the second consecutive year in 2017 despite their increased operating profit, data showed Monday.
An analysis by corporate tracker Chaebul.com showed the donations by the leading business groups fell 13.3 percent from 2016 to 836.1 billion won (US$786.54 million) last year. The donations reached as high as 1.1 trillion won in 2015 as conglomerates contributed to establishing and operating culture and sports foundations linked to Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of then-President Park Geun-hye.
Samsung Group affiliates, whose operating profit jumped 155.9 percent last year, donated 35.5 percent less at 306.4 billion won. The total compared with 532.4 billion won in contributions in 2015.
Hyundai Motor Group reduced its donations by 8.5 billion won to 96.8 billion won, while Hyundai Heavy Industries Group pulled back 4.5 billion won to 10.6 billion won
Some of the conglomerates increased their donations, including SK Group, which raised its offering by the highest amount (31.6 billion won) to 204 billion won.
LG Group added 5.6 billion won to 83.6 billion won, while Lotte Group upped its donations by 7.1 billion won to 57.8 billion won.
By individual companies, Samsung Electronics contracted its contributions the most, by about 25 percent to 250.5 billion won last year. The company made record operational profit in 2017 from a boom in its chip business.
SK Innovation’s operational profit leaped 25 times in the year to 1.7 trillion won, but its donations more than halved to 2.9 billion won.
SK hynix, which made record operating profit last year, increased its donations 48.5 percent to 75.2 billion won.