Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., one of South Korea's leading builders, said Tuesday its net profit was in the red by 781.6 billion won ($724.7 million) in the fourth quarter.
The quarterly net profit loss is much greater than the 2.86 billion won loss for the same three-month period in 2012.
Daewoo E&C made sure the October-December report reflected possible losses on all of its outstanding building projects so it can start on a clean slate in the new year, the Seoul-based company said in a regulatory filing.
"The fourth-quarter numbers show the company accessing all potential losses to cope with future uncertainties in the construction sector," a company source stressed. He said this move, while adversely affecting the earnings number for the last quarter, can help the builder start from a "zero basis" in 2014.
The builder said its operating profit was also a 445.1 billion won drop compared to 67.6 billion won in the black for the same period in 2012, with sales reaching a little over 2.12 trillion won, down 1.41 percent from 2.15 trillion won for the year before.
The latest earnings statement showed that for the whole of last year, the bottom line was 651.4 billion won in the red from a profit of 159.4 billion won the year before.
The company's operating profit posted a loss of 119.9 billion won from a gain of 365.2 billion won in 2012.
Daewoo E&C's sales moved up 3.5 percent to 8.46 trillion won, vis-a-vis 8.18 trillion won tallied a year ago. The gain is largely attributed to increased work from various building projects.
For 2014, the builder said it hopes to win 15 trillion won in fresh orders, push up sales to 9.67 trillion won and secure 603.5 billion won in operating profits. (Yonhap News)