SEJONG, June 28 (Korea Bizwire) — The accommodation and restaurant sector in South Korea reported the biggest fall in operating profit margins in 2020 compared with 2015 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Tuesday.
The ratio of operating profit against sales for the lodging and eatery industry came to 5.2 percent in 2020, down 7.9 percentage points from 13.1 percent in 2015, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
Of 19 industries, the accommodation and restaurant segment reported the largest fall in operating profit margins.
The arts and sports sector chalked up a 5.4 percentage-point decline in operating profit margins in 2020, the data showed.
In-person services took a beating due to the fallout of the pandemic, as people refrained from visiting offline stores due to concerns about the virus.
The COVID-19 pandemic also accelerated digital platform-based transactions and the use of kiosks by three sectors — retail and wholesale operations, accommodations and restaurants, and telecommunication companies.
In 2020, the value of transactions via online platforms by the three segments reached 89 trillion won (US$69 billion), taking up 4.9 percent of their total sales.
Meanwhile, the number of businesses in South Korea came to 6.03 million as of end-2020, up 18.2 percent from 2015.
Their total sales amounted to 6,711 trillion won in 2020, up 18.4 percent from five years earlier, the data showed.