Korean Economy News
Korea’s top 10 chaebol behind 80% of `17 net profits of Kospi members

By Shin Heon-cheol and Cho Jeehyun

The Korean Inc. on the main bourse delivered a stellar performance in 2017, but the act largely owed to a select household family-run conglomerates that accounted for nearly 80 percent of the headline bottom line of Kospi members.

According to the Korea Exchange stock operator on Sunday, 533 non-financial Kospi-listed companies whose fiscal year ended on December 31, 2017, recorded a combined net profit of 114.6 trillion won ($107.2 billion). Net profits of 62 affiliates under the country’s top 10 chaebols, based on assets, totaled 90.6 trillion, up 57.1 percent on year, contributing to 79.1 percent of the total net income of Kospi members.

When counting out units under top 10 chaebol names, net profit fell 0.5 percent to 23.97 trillion won against a year earlier.

The 10 affiliates under the country’s largest Samsung Group reported a combined net profit of 43.9 trillion won last year, up a whopping 86.0 percent from 23.6 trillion won in 2016. Samsung Electronics Co. was the main driver as its net profit jumped to 42.2 trillion won from 22.7 trillion won on global semiconductor boom.

SK Group also benefited from its chip-making unit. The combined net profit of its nine affiliates expanded 119.8 percent to 20.9 trillion won, thanks to SK Hynix Inc. whose net profit surged to 10.6 trillion won last year from the previous year’s 2.96 trillion won.

Over the same period, LG Group’s net profit from 10 affiliates more than doubled to 9.8 trillion won from 4.7 trillion won, and Lotte Group’s four affiliates earned 2.3 trillion won in net profit, up from 2.1 trillion won logged in the previous year. Net profits by Shinsegae Group’s four affiliates grew to 886.3 billion won from 736.7 billion won, and that of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group with one affiliate shot up to 445.2 billion won from 39.6 billion won.

Doosan Group’s six affiliates had recorded a combined net loss of 407.1 billion won in 2016 but they managed to turn around and registered a net profit of 312.3 billion won last year.

Hyundai Motor Group, however, saw its net profits from 10 affiliates shrink to 8.8 trillion won last year from 13.8 trillion posted a year earlier, and Hanwha Group’s net profits from three affiliates also shriveled to 2.1 trillion won from 2.4 trillion won. GS Group’s net profits from five affiliates fell to 1.1 trillion won last year from 1.2 trillion won in the previous year.

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