KT&G Corp., South Korea's largest tobacco manufacturer, said Thursday its fourth-quarter net income fell 25.3 percent from a year earlier due to decreased exports.
Net profit came to 78.82 billion won ($74.1 million) in the October-December period, compared with 105.57 billion won a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Sales, however, rose 3.4 percent to 987.10 billion won and operating profit rose 22.9 percent to 222.84 billion won.
The figures reflect performances by KT&G and its subsidiaries, including Korea Ginseng Corp.
According to the company's earnings report, the poor fourth-quarter performance stemmed from its sluggish exports. KT&G's exports for the period came to 157.8 billion won, down 12 percent from 179.3 billion won a year earlier.
Analysts predicted the company's earnings to improve this year.
"A recovery in exports of tobacco and a rise in red ginseng sales are expected to push up KT&G's consolidated earnings this year," Han Kook-hee, a beverage and food analyst at Woori Investment & Securities Co., said in a recent report.
KT&G said it will pay a cash dividend of 3,200 won per share, totaling 402.9 billion won.
Shares of KT&G fell 0.53 percent to 74,500 won as of 11:47 a.m. on the Seoul bourse. (Yonhap News)