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Listed firms' profit forecast to rise 15 pct in 2018

All News 08:36 December 08, 2017

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's major listed companies are expected to see their operating profit jump nearly 15 percent on-year in 2018 on the back of moderate sales growth, a market tracker said Friday.

The combined operating profit of 262 companies listed on the country's main and minor stock markets is estimated to reach 215.5 trillion won (US$197 billion) next year, up 16.7 percent from this year, according to FnGuide.

The tally covers companies for which more than three securities companies have presented earnings outlooks for the coming year.

The amount is also up 1.13 percentage points from their estimate made a month earlier.

Their total earnings are projected to climb 6.3 percent on-year to 1,958.5 trillion won next year with their combined bottom line surging nearly 12 percent to 165.8 trillion won.

Listed firms' profit forecast to rise 15 pct in 2018 - 1

Noting there is a low possibility of corporate earnings posting negative growth in the coming year, market watchers said their robust operating profit will be backed by steady sales growth.

"South Korean companies' sales are likely to grow moderately next year, with their operating margins also picking up," said Yeom Dong-chan, an analyst with eBEST Investment and Securities Co.

But the analyst predicted the growth rate of their 2018 earnings to hover below that for this year.

According to FnGuide, the operating income of top-cap and tech behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. is projected to surge 18 percent on-year in 2018 after registering a record profit this year.

Of the companies traded on the main bourse, shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. is forecast to chalk up the highest operating income gain of 928 percent next year, followed by battery maker Samsung SDI Co. with 357 percent and No. 2 automaker Kia Motors Corp. with 127 percent.

Listed firms' profit forecast to rise 15 pct in 2018 - 2


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