S.Korea’s corporate profitability worsens in Q3

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SEOUL, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) — South Korea’s corporate profitability worsened in the third quarter amid lingering external uncertainties, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The average ratio of operating profit to revenue for local companies was 4.8 percent in the July-September quarter, down 2.8 percentage points from a year earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The result was based on the survey of 1,603 listed and unlisted firms.

The ratio more than halved among manufacturers owing to external uncertainties, such as the global trade dispute and the global chip industry’s downturn.

The figure for manufacturers declined to 4.5 percent in the September quarter from 9.7 percent tallied a year earlier.

During the third quarter, export price for semiconductors plunged 32.0 percent compared with a year ago.

The ratio of operating profit to revenue for nonmanufacturers advanced to 5.1 percent in the third quarter from 4.4 percent in the same quarter of last year.

Meanwhile, revenue for local companies reduced 2.8 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, after skidding 2.4 percent in the first quarter and 1.1 percent in the second quarter respectively.

The ratio of debt to equity was unchanged at 83.5 percent in the cited period, but the ratio of operating profit to interest cost retreated to 427.31 percent in the third quarter from 813.96 percent a year earlier.

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