Nearly half of the country's listed firms reported declines in their sales in the three quarters this year ending September, an analysis by a think tank indicated on Dec. 13, 2018.
The Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) looked into the performances of 578 listed companies during the nine months and found sales at 268 of them, or 46.4 percent, fell compared with the same period last year. The figure is higher than the 32.5 percent in 2017.
More firms fared worse in operational profits, with 344 companies, or 59.5 percent, registering declines from the same months last year. The comparative year for 2017 was 41.2 percent, according to KERI, affiliated with the Federation of Korean Industries, a corporate lobby group.
For 209 firms, both sales and operational profits fell during the tallied period. On the other hand, both increased for 175 companies.
KERI's analysis showed the proportion of companies in the red has been increasing since 2016. The rate was 17.5 percent in 2013 and fell to 13.3 percent in 2016. In the three quarters this year, the figure rose to 20.1 percent.
According to the institute, 5.5 percent of the companies shifted from black to red in 2016. This year, it was 10.4 percent. In 2015, 9.5 percent of the companies went from red to black. This year, the corresponding number was 4.2 percent.
The percentage of companies that recorded negative performances for two years in a row rose from 6.6 percent last year to 9.7 percent this year. (Yonhap)