South Korea's top 100 companies saw first-quarter earnings rise compared to the same period last year, but the gains were concentrated on a handful of high-performing companies, corporate analysis showed Sunday.
CEO Score, a website that appraises corporate performance, analyzed the top 100 firms on their first-quarter business ledgers. Results showed combined sales of 320.5 trillion won (US$297.58 billion), up 4 percent from the same period last year, and operational profits of 38.7 trillion won, an increase of 19.4 percent.
The results also indicated that only 45 of the 100 companies had better operational profits. The other 50 companies reported shrinking profits, while five logged operating deficits.
Among the operational profits made, those by Samsung Electronics and SK hynix together accounted for more than half. Samsung Electronics' operational profit reached 15.6 trillion won and SK hynix 4.36 trillion won, amounting to 51.7 percent of the profits made by the 100 companies.
By individual firms, GS Engineering & Construction showed the biggest increase in operational profit with a gain of 560.7 percent. Samsung Electro-Mechanics followed with 503.1 percent and Hotel Shilla with 342.3 percent.
LG Display showed the biggest decline in operational profits at minus 98.3 billion won. The company reported record-high profits of 2.46 trillion won last year but fell into the red, nudged out by low-priced rival products from China.
Samsung Heavy Industries also ended the first quarter 47.8 billion won in the red, as did Hyundai Wia at minus 29.8 billion won and Heungkuk Fire & Marine Insurance at minus 1.4 billion won.
SsangYong Motor's operational deficit nearly doubled to 31.3 billion won from the same quarter last year. (Yonhap)