Sales and profit of South Korean companies slowed down significantly in 2018 from a year earlier, though their financial stability improved slightly, a central bank report showed Nov. 5.
In 2018, the combined sales of nonfinancial firms here rose 4 percent from the year before when the comparative figure jumped 9.2 percent on-year, according to the report from the Bank of Korea.
Their average operating profit to sales ratio slipped to 5.6 percent from 6.1 percent over the cited period, with their net profit to sales ratio also dipping to 5.3 percent from 6.1 percent.
The annual report is based on financial statements submitted by nearly 670,000 local companies to the tax agency that include some 150,000 manufacturing firms.
The combined sales of manufacturing companies grew 4 percent in 2018, slowing from a 9 percent on-year increase in the previous year, while those of non-manufacturing firms grew at the same pace, slowing from a 9.3 percent rise in 2017.
The combined sales of large companies increased 2.7 percent on-year, while those of smaller firms rose 5.9 percent. Both figures mark a sharp slowdown from 7.9 percent and 11.0 percent on-year increases, respectively, in the year before, according to the report.
Such a sharp drop in sales of local companies apparently indicates the start of various problems still facing the local companies, including a global downturn that has kept the country’s outbound shipments shrinking for 11 consecutive months.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)