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Big firms' donations sink 37.1% amid pandemic

The headquarters of Samsung Electronics Co. in southern Seoul (Yonhap)
The headquarters of Samsung Electronics Co. in southern Seoul (Yonhap)
Large South Korean companies' social contributions plunged nearly 37 percent in the first nine months of the year amid the coronavirus pandemic, a corporate tracker said Wednesday.

CEO Score, which tracks corporate management, said 255 out of the country's top 500 firms by sales donated a combined 1.01 trillion won ($850 million) to charities during the January-September period, down 37.1 percent from a year ago.

CEO Score said the tumble came amid the new coronavirus pandemic, though those companies performed much better than a year earlier.Their total sales expanded 13.8 percent to 186.2 trillion won over the cited period, with combined operating income spiking 73.5 percent to 62.7 trillion won.

The 255 companies cover those who have published their quarterly reports and detailed social contributions.

Global tech titan Samsung Electronics Co. was by far the largest donor with 187.8 billion won in the nine-month period, though the amount was off 21.6 percent from a year earlier.

State power monopoly Korea Electric Power Corp. came next with 88 billion won, followed by LG Household & Healthcare Ltd. with 68.3 billion won, chip giant SK hynix Inc. with 48 billion won, steel giant Posco with 36.6 billion won and leading automaker Hyundai Motor Co. with 35.4 billion won.

LG Household & Healthcare, an affiliate of South Korea's fourth-largest conglomerate, LG Group, contributed 1.13 percent of its sales, becoming the only firm with a percentage above 1 percent. (Yonhap)

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