SEOUL, Aug. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — Sales by major companies in South Korea rose nearly 10 percent in the first half of the year in spite of the coronavirus pandemic with their total operating profit more than doubling, a corporate tracker said Wednesday.
Combined sales of 225 out of the country’s top 500 firms came to 1,127.4 trillion won (US$960 billion) in the January-June period, up 10.4 percent from a year earlier, according to CEO Score.
Their operating profit stood at 105.1 trillion won in the six-month period, more than double that a year ago and up 65 percent from the first half of 2019.
Sales of the information technology, electronics, electric industry expanded 21.7 percent on-year, with those of the auto and auto parts sector surging 26.3 percent.
In contrast, the securities industry saw its sales tumbling 20.1 percent on-year to 57.4 trillion won.
The oil and petrochemical industry posted a combined operating income of 15.9 trillion won in the first half, the highest increase among all sectors.
Among those companies, global tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. saw sales grow the most in the first half, with its top line surging 19.2 percent on-year, or 20.8 trillion won, to 129.1 trillion won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor came next with 10.5 trillion won, followed by smaller affiliate Kia Corp. with 8.9 trillion won and LG Chem. Ltd. with 7.4 trillion won.
Samsung Electronics also registered the largest operating profit of 14.6 trillion won, which was up 50.4 percent from a year earlier, according to CEO Score.