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Battery, K-pop, virtual currency firms rise on top 500 list

BTS agency Hybe newly joined the top 500 league last year. (Yonhap)
BTS agency Hybe newly joined the top 500 league last year. (Yonhap)
The list of South Korea’s 500 biggest companies by sales saw significant changes last year, with the rise of battery, K-pop and virtual currency firms, a corporate tracker said Wednesday.

Battery maker LG Energy Solution jumped from No. 343 in 2020 to No. 44 last year on the annual list released by CEO Score as its shipments of pouch- and cylinder-type batteries surged on growing global demand for electric cars.

Camera module supplier LG Innotek went from No. 68 to No. 48 in the same period, according to the list based on companies’ regulatory filings.

Thirty-nine companies including Dunamu (3.7 trillion won, No. 168), which runs digital currency exchange Upbit, and entertainment firm Hybe (1.26 trillion won, No. 447), the agency of K-pop group BTS, newly joined the top 500 league last year.

Oil refiners moved up the list amid high oil prices and recovery of global demand which increased sales of petroleum products.

GS Caltex, S-Oil, SK Energy and Hyundai Oilbank climbed 13 steps to No. 12; 20 steps to No. 21; seven steps to No. 24; and 14 steps to No. 37, respectively.

“Oil refiners which had been hit by the pandemic are recovering, and at the same time, we are seeing structural changes in local industries,” an official at CEO Score said.

Fifty-two firms with over 1 trillion won in sales failed to make it to the top 500 as large businesses’ revenue jumped last year.

Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor kept the top spots with sales of 279.6 trillion won and 117.6 trillion won, respectively, while Posco Holdings rose from No. 6 to No. 3 with 76.3 trillion won in sales.

LG Electronics, Kia Motors and Korea Electric Power Corp. went a step down to No. 4 through 6.

Hanwha maintained its No. 7 spot.

Chipmaker SK hynix and battery materials maker LG Chem climbed four steps to No. 8 and six steps to No. 9, respectively.

Among the 39 companies pushed out of the list were Doosan, Orange Life Insurance and Incheon International Airport.

In 2020, Namyang Dairy came 500th with sales of 948.9 billion won, but last year, UNID was the last on the top 500 list with 1.97 trillion won in sales.

By Kim So-hyun (
Korea Herald Youtube