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Major S. Korean firms' R&D spending gains 2 pct this year

All News 08:31 December 09, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- Major South Korean companies' spending on research and development (R&D) rose nearly 2 percent in the first three quarters of the year despite weaker sales amid the coronavirus pandemic, a corporate tracker said Wednesday.

R&D expenditures by 217 large companies in Asia's fourth-largest economy totaled 40.2 trillion won (US$37 billion) in the January-September period, up 2.03 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from CEO Score.

Their combined sales fell 4.85 percent on-year to 1,178.7 trillion won over the cited period, with the ratio of R&D expenditures to revenue gaining 0.23 percentage point to 3.41 percent.

The tally covers companies that belong to the country's top 500 companies by sales and have announced their R&D spending in quarterly reports.

Samsung Electronics Co., the world's No. 1 smartphone and memory chip maker, was by far the largest R&D spender with 15.9 trillion won, becoming the sole company to spend more than 10 trillion won.

Five other companies -- LG Electronics, SK hynix, Hyundai Motor, LG Display and Kia Motors -- spent more than 1 trillion won on R&D projects each.

R&D expenditures by those six big spenders accounted for 65.2 percent of the total during the nine-month period.

Internet portal giant Naver registered the highest R&D spending-to-sales ratio of 25 percent, trailed by major drug firm Hanmi Pharmaceutical with 23.4 percent and top mobile game developer Netmarble Games with 20.6 percent.

Major S. Korean firms' R&D spending gains 2 pct this year - 1


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