SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — SKC Co., a South Korean manufacturer of advanced materials, said Monday its operating profit declined 45.1 percent in 2022 from a year earlier, mainly weighed down by a spike in electricity bills and other costs.
Operating profit reached 220.3 billion won (US$176.2 million) for the January-December period, compared with 401.5 billion won the previous year, the chemicals and advanced materials unit of SK Group said in a regulatory filing.
Annual sales grew 38.6 percent to 3.13 trillion won, backed by robust demand in secondary battery components, such as copper foil, one of SKC’s core businesses.
The company reported a net loss of 66.7 billion won in 2022, turning from a net profit of 342.3 billion won in the same period.
The sharp increase in the electricity bills is “certainly among the factors” that have affected the top line, as well as the depreciation trend of the Korean won currency last year, Yi Jae-hong, president and CEO of SK Nexilis, SKC’s copper foil making unit, said in an earnings call livestreamed on YouTube.
SKC said in a separate regulatory filing that it expects a range of 15-20 percent sales growth for this year, or 3.6 trillion won in the median estimate.
The capital expenditures will increase more than 30 percent in 2023 from last year’s 1.1 trillion won, the company said.
For 2022, the secondary battery components division recorded 98.6 billion won in operating profit and 810.1 billion won in sales, on the back of increased output from its newest sixth factory in its domestic manufacturing cluster in Jeongeup, about 220 kilometers southwest of Seoul.
SK Nexilis said it plans to start commercial operation of its manufacturing facility in Malaysia later this year and will step up partnership with global battery makers.
The chemical segment booked 140.9 billion won in operating profit, with sales coming in at 1.7 trillion won, marking a 55 percent on-year sales growth thanks to robust demand in North America and Europe.
Sales from semiconductor materials stood at 598.2 billion won, with an operating income of 28.8 billion won.
In the fourth quarter, SKC booked an operating loss of 23.4 billion won, swinging from a profit of 107 billion won a year ago. Sales rose 18.6 percent on-year to 763.7 billion won.
Shares in SKC slid 2.04 percent to 96,200 won on the main Seoul bourse Monday, underperforming the broader KOSPI’s 1.7 percent decline. The earnings results were released before the closing bell.