February 17, 2020 13:01
Korea's 100-largest businesses saw operating profits and net profits plummet 36 percent and 45 percent last year.
The decline was particularly remarkable in the IT and electronics sector, which includes the country's bread-and-butter semiconductor business, with 61 percent in operating profits.
According to market researcher CEO Score on Sunday, analysis of 86 of the nation's top 100 companies which reported last year's preliminary earnings showed combined sales at W1,609 trillion, operating profits of W101.9 trillion and net profits of W64.9 trillion (US$1=W1,183).
Sales grew two percent on-year, but operating profits plunged 36 percent, largely due to worse global economic conditions due to the U.S.-China trade war.
The semiconductor industry was hit especially hard because it greatly depends on exports to the two world's largest economies.
Samsung's operating profit last year plummeted 52.8 percent to W27.8 trillion, while SK Hynix's nosedived 87 percent to W18.1 trillion.
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