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Korea’s top 500 companies list welcomes 38 new players

Having set record profits, SK hynix, GS Caltex rise in ranking in 2018

A list of South Korea’s top 500 companies ranked by revenue saw major shifts last year, with companies in the top 10 trading places and 38 companies newly entering the list, data released Wednesday showed.

According to local corporate tracker CEO Score, Samsung Electronics retained the No. 1 spot and Hyundai Motor No. 2. Meanwhile, Posco came in at No. 3, bumping LG Electronics down to No. 4.

At the same time, chipmaker SK hynix and oil refiner GS Caltex became new entrants to the top 10, buoyed by record-high profit growth last year. SK hynix climbed up five places to No. 8, while GS Caltex moved up three notches to No. 9. 

Taken together, Korea’s top 500 companies raised 2,835 trillion won ($2.38 trillion) in total revenue last year, up 2.1 percent from the previous year. But their total operating profit in 2018 declined 0.01 percent (11.6 billion won) on-year, CEO Score said.

By industry, a majority of the companies on the top 500 list were from the petrochemicals sector (49 companies). Retail had the next biggest presence (47 companies), followed by automobiles and parts (46 companies), construction and materials (43 companies), insurance (33 companies) and technology and electronics (32 companies).

Among the 38 new entrants to the top 500 list, the highest-ranked company was Hyosung T&C -- which was spun off into an independent unit from Hyosung Corp. last year -- in 163rd place.

Other Hyosung units, including Hyosung Heavy Industries (238th), Hyosung Advanced Materials (280th) and Hyosung Chemical (423rd), also entered the top 500.

The firm that saw the biggest climb in ranking was BGF Retail, which was spun off from BGF Corp. in 2017. It jumped 360 places, rising from 465th to 105th.

The company in 500th place on last year’s list of top 500 companies was Farm Story Hannaeng, which posted 921.6 billion won in revenue last year, according to CEO Score.

By Sohn Ji-young (
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Korea Herald daum