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Net profits of listed firms hit record high in 2016: report

South Korean companies listed on the main bourse Kospi and tech-heavy Kosdaq saw their combined net profits hitting a record high in 2016, a report said Wednesday.

According to the report by securities firm Mirae Asset Daewoo, the combined net profits of 1,901 listed firms were estimated to be 107 trillion won ($93 billion) and their combined operating profits at 158 trillion won.


The estimates were calculated from the confirmed earnings results of 1,681 firms and preliminary estimates of the remaining 220 firms which have not disclosed their fourth-quarter earnings yet.

“The listed firms have recorded their profit growth rates surpassing 10 percent for two consecutive years. This signals that corporate earnings have come into the clear recovery phase,” Kim Sang-ho, an analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo said in the report.

The operating profits of listed firms grew 21.4 percent on-year in the fourth quarter and net profits surged 36.3 percent during the same period, according to the report.

By sector, the energy, industrial materials and IT industries saw their average operating profit jumping by 173 percent, 142 percent and 52 percent, respectively, in the fourth quarter, on-year.

Global oil price hikes contributed to the rapid growth of profits in the energy and chemicals sector, Kim said.

In contrast, the average operating profit of firms in the finance, utilities and health care industries plunged by 59 percent, 51 percent and 23 percent, respectively, during the same period.

By Kim Yoon-mi (