South Korea's top business groups saw their operating profits dip a whopping 40 percent in the January-June period from a year earlier, market data showed Sunday, due mainly to weak performances of major tech brands such as Samsung and SK.
The combined operating profit of 55 of the top 100 listed firms that announced their first-half operating profits came to 42.8 trillion won (US$35.6 billion), falling sharply from 71.1 trillion won posted a year earlier, according to the data compiled by industry tracker CEO Score.
Over the cited period, sales edged up 1.2 percent to 592 trillion won, the data also showed.
The decrease was mostly attributable to major chipmakers. Samsung Electronics Co., the top market cap, saw its operating profit nose-dive 57.9 percent, while that of No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Co. sank 79.8 percent.
Chemical firms and steelmakers were also among major losers, the industry tracker said.
LG Chem Ltd. saw its operating profit fall 59.9 percent in the first half from a year earlier, and that of top oil refiner SK Innovation Co. decreased 47 percent. The operating profit of leading steelmaker POSCO slid 17.1 percent.
Carmakers, on the other hand, whose earnings lost ground last year due to China's economic retaliation against South Korea over Seoul's deployment of a U.S. missile defense system, enjoyed higher profits.
The operating profits of Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister firm Kia Motors Corp. advanced 26.4 percent and 71.3 percent on-year, respectively, in the January-June period, CEO Score added. (Yonhap)