Consolidated operating profit of Korean listed companies in the first quarter fell 15.64% year-on-year, although their revenue expanded 10.84%, the Korea Exchange(KRX) said on May 31.
In its analysis of 635 listed firms among 668 companies with fiscal year ending in December, KRX said their combined sales grew 10.04% to 291.49 trillion won while their operating profit and net profit slashed 15.64% and 8.92% to 16.18 trillion won and 15.18 trillion won.
The tally was based on the Korean International Financial Reporting Standards (K-IFRS) which requires listed firms with market capitalization of more than 2 trillion won to include affiliates' performance in their earnings reports.
Among industrial sectors, electronics and electricity/gas supply sectors fared well. Combined revenue of 58 electronics firms jumped 16.96% to 8.42 trillion won thanks largely to strong sales of mobile products. Their operating profit jumped 65.58% to 4.35 trillion won over the cited period. Considering Samsung Electronics' operating profit was 4.5 trillion won, up 84.18%, however, other electronics firms' profitability was aggravated virtually.
Electricity and gas supply companies also recorded strong sales by growing more than 6 trillion won, but their operating losses expanded from 501 trillion won to 1.27 trillion won. Most companies recorded profits, but the figure was more influced by KEPCO which saw its losses snowball by 50%.
Meanwhile, average debt ratio of the companies stood at 136.94% at end-March, up 1.42 percentage points from the previous year, according to KRX.