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Samsung Group’s dominance in Korean economy increases

Earnings of the country’s No. 1 conglomerate, Samsung Group, made up almost half of the total of the top 10 groups in 2013, the latest reminder of a deepening polarization of corporate performance in South Korea, data showed Wednesday.

The combined operating income of 81 listed firms affiliated with the nation’s top 10 conglomerates reached 79.77 trillion won ($75.43 billion) last year, rising 7.5 percent or 5.54 trillion won from 74.23 trillion won a year earlier, according to the data compiled by financial service provider FnGuide Inc.

Samsung’s 13 listed firms generated a combined 38.19 trillion won in operating income last year, accounting for 48 percent of the total, the data showed.

Samsung’s 2013 operating income surged 15.4 percent last year from a year earlier, as its flagship unit Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest smartphone maker, saw a 26.6 percent on-year rise in its operating income at 36.79 trillion won, the data showed.

Hyundai Automotive Group, the country’s No. 2 family-owned group, made up 21.7 percent of the tallied operating income last year, followed by SK Group with 14.3 percent and LG Group with 8.5 percent, the data showed.

Some conglomerates, however, suffered a drop in their operating income last year. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world’s largest shipbuilder, and its three other units suffered a 74.2 percent on-year drop in their operating income at 548 billion won, due mainly to a slump in the shipbuilding sector.

GS and Hanjin were the only two conglomerates that suffered a loss in 2013. GS, a retail and energy business group, suffered an operating loss last year as its construction unit reported a weak bottom line.

Hanjin Group, a logistics giant, also logged an operating loss of 420 billion won last year, the data showed. (Yonhap)
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