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(2nd LD) KT&G Q2 net soars 12 pct on strong domestic sales

All News 15:10 July 21, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS closing share price at bottom)

SEOUL, July. 21 (Yonhap) -- KT&G Corp., South Korea's state-run tobacco producer, on Thursday said its net profit gained 11.9 percent in the second quarter from a year ago on the back of brisk sales in the domestic market.

Net profit came to 291.6 billion won (US$2.55 million) on a consolidated basis in the April-June period, compared with 260.7 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Operating income jumped 14.5 percent on-year to 354 billion won, and sales rose 5.4 percent to 1.08 trillion won over the cited period, it said.

The numbers reflect the performances of KT&G and its subsidiaries, including the Korea Ginseng Corp.

KT&G attributed the robust sales to a recovery in cigarette demand as smokers have increasingly gone back to their old habit since the tobacco tax hike in January 2015.

The firm's domestic share came to 59.3 percent as of end-June, up 0.8 percentage point from a year earlier.

In contrast, the number of cigarettes sold abroad slipped 4.6 percent on-year to 10.4 billion in the April-June period, but overseas revenue increased 6.6 percent to 193.7 billion won thanks to the favorable foreign exchange rates, it said.

The share price of KT&G fell 2 percent on the Seoul bourse, underperforming KOSPI's 0.16 percent decline.

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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