May 20, 2020 11:09
Major businesses' earnings deteriorated sharply in the first quarter amid the coronavirus outbreak. The combined operating profits of listed companies plummeted by one-third while three out of 10 suffered losses.
The Korea Exchange analyzed first-quarter earnings of 592 listed companies on Tuesday and found that their total revenues edged up 0.87 percent on-year to W495.3 trillion, while operating profits plunged 31.2 percent to W19.48 trillion and net profits nosedived 47.8 percent to W11 trillion (US$1=W1,227).
Some 30.6 percent of the companies posted losses.
Private consumption shrank due to the lockdown. The service industry suffered the biggest drop in operating profits with 61.1 percent.
Joo Won at the Hyundai Research Institute said, "Lockdowns continue in the U.S. and Europe in the second quarter, markedly slowing down the earnings of automakers, IT and other export-dependent companies. The Korean economy is expected to suffer an even sharper decline than in the first quarter."
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