The Korea Herald


19 Korean firms maintain stable operating profit since 2000: data

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : Sept. 18, 2019 - 15:51

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Nearly 20 South Korean firms have posted stable operating profits consecutively on a quarterly basis since 2000, data compiled by a local corporate tracker showed Wednesday, reflecting their ability to manage financial health effectively for nearly two decades.

According to the data released by CEO Score, 19 firms here have successfully kept their operating profit margin in positive terrain for 78 consecutive quarters, as of the second quarter this year.

The data took 277 nonfinancial listed firms into account. 

KT&G headquarters in Daejeon (Yonhap) KT&G headquarters in Daejeon (Yonhap)

Of the firms, KT&G, the nation’s top tobacco company, ranked No. 1 with an average operating profit margin of 35.4 percent. Mobile carrier SK Telecom tailed behind with 19.8 percent and hydrogen fluoride manufacturer Soulbrain ranked No. 3 at 15.9 percent.

In terms of the number of conglomerate subsidiaries, Samsung, Hyundai and SK each had two among the ranks, while Posco and GS had one each.

Samsung’s flagship unit and the nation’s leading electronics firm Samsung Electronics was excluded from the ranking, as it posted an operating loss in the fourth quarter of 2008. It has since rebounded, posting positive operating profits for 42 consecutive quarters.

Information technology firms as well as those in the shipping, machinery and equipment sector failed to make the list.

A total of 13 out of 19 firms posted an average operating profit margin above 10 percent throughout the period.

Meanwhile, CEO Score noted that only 50 out of 277 firms have managed to post positive operating profits for 50 consecutive quarters, which accounts for 18.1 percent of the total.

Operating profit is considered an accurate yardstick for a company’s potential profitability, while showing the firm’s ability to manage its indirect costs.

The income statement reflects how a firm makes certain investments that could help bolster its brand and business.

By Jung Min-kyung (