SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Korea Bizwire) – KT&G Corp., South Korea’s major tobacco company, said Monday its January net income rose 31 percent from a year ago amid fluctuations in the won-dollar exchange rate.
Net profit came to 58.8 billion won (US$55 million) last month, compared with 44.9 billion won posted a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Operating income dropped 37.1 percent to 70.1 billion won, and sales declined 29.3 percent to 167.7 billion won over the cited period, it said.
“Overall sales declined due to weak performance in the domestic market and some delays in price negotiations with foreign buyers in the wake of a strong local currency,” a company official said, adding its overseas sales are expected to return to the normal level once they complete the talks.
Shares of KT&G closed at 100,500 won, down 2.9 percent from the previous session’s close, with the broader KOSPI index edging up 0.25 percent.
The earnings report was released before the market opened Monday, following a local media report that alleged the company exaggerated last year’s earnings results to secure another term for the firm’s current chief Baek Bok-in.
Denying the suspicions, KT&G said its fourth-quarter exports rather declined compared with the previous year and the amount of exports has been at a similar level throughout the year.