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SK Innovation bleeds W2.5tr in operating losses as revenue shrinks 30%

By Kim Byung-wook

Published : Jan. 29, 2021 - 17:56

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SK Innovation CEO Kim Jun (SK Innovation) SK Innovation CEO Kim Jun (SK Innovation)


SK Innovation’s revenue fell to 34.16 trillion won ($34.16 billion) last year, a 30.7 percent plunge from 49.87 trillion won on-year, as the pandemic dealt a massive blow to its petrochemical business.

According to the South Korean battery-to-petrochemical giant’s regulatory filing on Friday, the company posted an operating loss worth 2.5 trillion won, swinging to red from an operating profit 1.2 trillion won in 2019.

The revenue of SK Innovation’ petrochemical business, which stood at 35.81 trillion won in 2019, nosedived to 22.63 trillion won last year, due to aggravated sales amid the coronavirus outbreak.

However, SK Innovation managed to salvage its key business: batteries. The company’s battery business registered 1.6 trillion won in revenue, more than double from 690.3 billion won on-year.

“SK Innovation’s battery business entered trillion-won figures in revenue for the first time,” a company official said.

Despite the bleak annual results, SK Innovation pledged that it will continue its investment in the booming battery business. On the same day, SK Innovation said it would invest 1.26 trillion won in SK Battery Hungary to build battery plant No. 3 in the country.

“This year, SK Innovation’s battery production capacity will increase to 40 gigawatt-hours as battery plants in China worth 20 gigawatt-hours will be operational,” the SK Innovation official said.

SK Innovation aims to establish battery production capacity worth 85 gigawatt-hours by 2023 and 125 gigawatt-hours by 2025.

By Kim Byung-wook (kbw@heraldcorp.com)