SEOUL (Xinhua) – Revenue among South Korean companies fell the most in more than five years due to strong local currency, sluggish sales of smartphones and lower oil prices, central bank data showed Friday.
The country’s corporate sales reduced 3.2 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, marking the worst since a four per cent decline in the second quarter of 2009 when the global financial crisis rattled the economy, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
It was based on 1,519 listed companies and 151 non-listed major firms.
The third-quarter figure was lower than a 2.9 per cent reduction in the previous quarter as the local currency’s rise to the US dollar reduced export profits converted into the South Korean currency from the dollar.
The won/dollar exchange rate declined five per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier after sliding 11.8 per cent in the second quarter.
Revenue in the tech companies plunged 13.7 per cent in the third quarter on a yearly basis due to faltering sales in smartphones.
The plunge marked the worst since the BOK began compiling the data in 2003.
Oil refiners and chemical firms saw their revenue fall 4.9 per cent in the quarter due to lower crude oil prices that led to a fall in oil product prices.
Corporate profitability worsened. The ratio of operating profit to revenue was 4.2 per cent in the quarter, down 0.9 percentage points from a year earlier. The ratio for tech companies retreated 3.3 percentage points to 5.8 per cent.
The ratio for automakers declined to 3.7 per cent in the third quarter from 6.3 per cent a year earlier on the back of the South Korea’s won ascent to the dollar and partial strikes.
The ratio for shipbuilders posted a minus 10.7 per cent in the quarter.