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Top 1,000 firms' sales hit new high in 2021 amid pandemic

Economy 13:41 May 12, 2022

SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's major listed firms saw their sales jump more than 16 percent to an all-time high in 2021 despite the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, a corporate tracker said Thursday.

The combined top line of the country's leading 1,000 companies by sales stood at 1,734 trillion won (US$1.35 trillion) last year, up 16.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea CXO Institute.

It marked the first time that those firms' total sales have surpassed the 1,700 trillion-won level.

Makers of electronic products, chips, petrochemicals and steel fared well last year, while hotels and other travel-related companies suffered setbacks in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the institute said.

Of the 1,000 corporations, 801 enjoyed sales increases, with global tech titan Samsung Electronics Co. posting the largest sales and retaining the No. 1 spot for the 20th straight year.

Samsung's sales came to 199.75 trillion won last year, up 33.4 trillion won from a year earlier and marking the biggest on-year increase among those companies.

Samsung's sales accounted for 11.5 percent of their total sales last year, up from a ratio of 11.2 percent a year earlier.

Steel behemoth POSCO Holdings, formerly POSCO, came next with an on-year sales gain of 13.4 trillion won, followed by POSCO International Corp., the trading arm of POSCO Holdings, with 11.3 trillion won and chip giant SK hynix Inc. with slightly over 11 trillion won.

A total of 229 companies had sales of 1 trillion won or more, setting a new record.

Leading container shipper HMM Co. saw its sales shoot up 120 percent on-year to 13.7 trillion won, joining the club of firms with a top line of 10 trillion won or more, according to the Korea CXO Institute.

The headquarters of Samsung Electronics Co. in Seoul (Yonhap)


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