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Major conglomerates post stellar performances last year

Posted January. 30, 2011 18:58,   


Despite a tough environment stemming from the aftereffects of the global financial crisis, leading Korean companies posted their best performances in history last year.

Analysts say Korean companies have strengthened their operational capability that has allowed them to overcome fairly significant shocks or changing market conditions, and transformed their business structure into production of high value-added products.

Samsung Electronics announced Friday record performance of 154.64 trillion won (138 billion U.S. dollars) in sales and 17.3 trillion won (16 billion dollars) in operating profit last year. Ordinary net profit also jumped 65 percent year-on-year to 16.15 trillion won (14.5 billion dollars).

Samsung`s share price thus surpassed 1 million won (900 dollars) for the first time. The price closed up 16,000 won (14 dollars), or 1.61 percent, at 1.01 million won (900 dollars) Friday. Experts predict that the electronics giant will surpass last year’s records to further advance this year.

Kia Motors also bested its all-time highs last year with 23.26 trillion won (20.8 billion dollars) in sales through domestic production, 1.68 trillion won (1.5 billion dollars) in operating profit, and 2.25 trillion won (2.02 billion dollars) in ordinary net profit.

Kia’s net profit surpassed 2 trillion won for the first time. Sales including production at its overseas plants also reached a record high of just over 2 million vehicles, with its global market share hitting an all-time high of 2.9 percent.

As a result, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors raised their collective global market share to 8.1 percent last year, demonstrating the rise of the Korean automobile industry.

Hyundai Steel said Friday that it recorded 10.19 trillion won (9.1 billion dollars) in sales, 1.03 trillion won in operating profit, and 1.01 trillion won in net profit. The combined ordinary net profit of Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group affiliates, including Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Mobis, Kia Motors and Hyundai Steel, amounted to nearly 11 trillion won (9.87 billion dollars).

Since its other affiliates including Glovis and Hyundai Hysco also showed impressive performances, the group as a whole likely attained 13 trillion won (11.67 billion dollars) in net profit.

A group source said, “Since the structure of our business group is vertically integrated led by flagships Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, the conglomerate as a whole is set to post good performance if the automakers post stellar records.”

LG Chem earned 19.47 trillion won (17.4 billion dollars) in sales, up 25.5 percent from 2009, and 2.83 trillion won (2.54 billion dollars) in operating profit, up 34.9 percent. The figures are both company highs.

The company’s net profit jumped 43.4 percent from 2009 to 2.02 trillion won (1.81 billion dollars), the highest in the history of Korea’s top chemical producer.

LG Chem said, “We increased sales of high value-added products in the petrochemical sector and enhanced our cost competitiveness through energy saving,” adding, “We increased our LCD polarizer supply and consolidated our No. 1 position in the global LCD polarizer market to show our best-ever performance.”

KT said annual sales last year grew 6.7 percent to 20.23 trillion won (18.16 billion dollars) and operating profit shot up 117 percent to 2.05 trillion won (1.84 billion dollars).

Growth was pronounced in the wireless, Internet and data business areas excluding fixed-line business. The number of KT`s smartphone service users surpassed 2.73 million to account for 17 percent of subscribers to its mobile service, which helped improve its performance.

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