March 17, 2015 11:27
More than 1,000 Korean listed companies saw a combined on-year drop in sales of 1.5 percent for the first three quarters of last year, the Federation of Korean Industries reported Monday.
Combined operating profit also plunged nearly 18 percent during the period. The decline was most noticeable among manufacturers, which accounted for more than 70 percent of the firms surveyed. Their combined profit dropped from US$75 billion to $62 billion -- down 23 percent.
Seven of the 10 largest companies in terms of revenue saw their profits drop by around 30 percent on average on slumping domestic demand coupled with slowing exports due to weakened global demand.
A spokesman for the federation said manufacturers need government support, including more business-friendly policies. They say such a slowdown could dent the number of new recruits and facilities investment. Industry analysts point out that companies also need to restructure and cut costs to improve their profitability.
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