By Chung Joo-won
SEOUL, Nov. 16 (Yonhap) -- Net profit of South Korean listed firms declined 37.04 percent in the third quarter this year from a quarter ago amid monetary policy tightening and a slowdown in the economy, the bourse operator said Wednesday.
Consolidated net profit of 601 companies on the main KOSPI market totaled 27.67 trillion won (US$20.9 billion) in the July-September period, compared with a profit of 43.95 trillion won from a quarter earlier, according to the data compiled by the Korea Exchange (KRX).
Operating profit decreased 30.35 percent on-quarter to 39.37 trillion won, while sales increased 3.46 percent to 726 trillion won over the cited period.
The tally excludes 79 KOSPI-listed firms that did not or were not required to submit regulatory filings.
Consolidated financial statements reflect all assets, liabilities and operating accounts of a parent company and its subsidiaries. The firms close their books on Dec. 31.
Corporate earnings weakened amid aggressive rate hikes at home and abroad.
The Band of Korea (BOK) has hiked its key policy rate eight times by a combined 2.5 percentage point since August last year to tame rising inflation. It is widely expected to deliver another rate hike at this year's last monetary policy meeting, set for Nov. 24.
In the first three quarters of the year, the 601 firms' net profit fell 12.35 percent on-year to 113.2 trillion won. Operating profit edged up 1 percent on-year to 146.2 trillion won, and sales jumped 24.51 percent to 2,084 trillion won.
A total of 448 firms, or 74.54 percent, were in the black in the third quarter, down from 76.54 percent a quarter ago. The 153 others, or 25.45 percent, suffered losses, up from 23.26 percent from a quarter earlier.
Ten industrial categories, including tech, bio, transportation and storage, saw their net earnings rise, while seven others, including energy, steel, construction, retail and telecommunications, suffered deficit.
Companies listed on the tech-laden KOSDAQ also registered weak earnings in the third quarter.
Consolidated third-quarter net profit of 1,070 companies decreased 5.02 percent on-quarter to 3.4 trillion won.
Operating profit declined 9.11 percent to 4 trillion won, while sales added 2.02 percent to 69.1 trillion won, during the same three-month period.
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