The employees of Hyundai Asan will be enjoying a happy holiday this year.
Many of them were concerned that the companys North Korean projects would be hindered by Vice President Kim Yoon-gyu scandal. But the companys finance team reported an estimated five billion won in operating profits, a company record, as it finalized its year-end account settlements.
Hyundai Asan has invested 1.5 trillion won in North Korean projects. This is the first year Hyundai Asan made a profit off of the Mt. Geumgang project.
Last year, Hyundai Asan posted an 800 million won profit, but minus exchange gains, the company actually lost 10 billion won.
So this is the first year Hyundai Asan has recorded a profit. Therefore, to the Hyundai Asan employees who have been suffering from long-term losses, five billion won is especially special.
Hyundai Asan has been through a lot ever since former vice president Kims scandal. It has been pressured by North Korea to cut the number of Mt. Geumgang tourists in half. It saw empty rooms at the Mt. Geumgang lodging facilities at the peak of tourist season due to North Koreas restrictions. But despite these difficulties, the company explained that the number of tourists would exceed 300,000 this year.
A total of 224,986 tourists have visited Mt. Geumgang as of December 22. Adding the number of visitors booked until the end of the year (6,475), this years total number of tourists to Mt. Geumgang amounts to 301,461.