SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) -- Three major duty-free store operators in South Korea posted mixed earnings in the second quarter amid tougher competition, industry sources said Wednesday.
Lotte Duty Free, Hotel Lotte's duty-free unit, posted 1.59 trillion won (US$1.32 billion) in sales in the April-June period, up 5.5 percent on-year. The duty free operator, however, suffered a sharp drop in its operating income with 71.2 billion won in operating profit, a 45.3 percent on-year dip during the cited period.
The worsened operating profits of the country's No. 1 duty-free operator was attributable to increased marketing expenses after partially closing down its outlet at Incheon International Airport upon license expiration.
Shilla Duty Free, the operator of the duty-free shop owned by Hotel Shilla Co., posted 1.26 trillion won in sales, up 16.3 percent on-year, during the cited period. It also recorded 69.8 billion won in operating profits, up 9.1 percent on-year.
Shilla Duty's better-than-expected bottom line was because of a steady growth of the outlets in major gateways of Asian countries, including Singapore and Hong Kong, they said.
Shinsegae DF Inc., the duty-free arm of South Korean retail giant Shinsegae, recorded 771.3 billion won in sales, up 73.5 percent on-year, but its operating income dropped 23.5 percent on-year to 17.3 billion won over the cited period.
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