New data shows that Korean companies are suffering as profits drop to levels not seen for the last three years.
An analysis of about 460,000 companies by the Bank of Korea shows that their ratio of sales to pre-tax net profit amounted to just 3.4 percent last year. This means that for every U.S. dollar of sales, the companies only made a net profit of 3.4 cents. This is lowest figure since 2009, when the equivalent figure stood at 3.9 cents per dollar.
An official from the central bank attributed the low return rate to higher import prices for raw materials, which have increased production costs, as well as lower export prices.