Over 200 midsized firms became large conglomerates in 2021: data

SEOUL– A total of 205 medium-sized companies grew to earn the status of large conglomerates last year on rising sales and profits amid an economic recovery, government data showed Tuesday.

Leading container shipper HMM Co., energy firm OCI Company Ltd. and 203 other midsized, high-potential companies were classified as large conglomerates in 2021, as their respective assets surpassed 10 trillion won (US$7.68 billion), according to the data by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Under current law, companies with total assets of 500 billion won or under are considered to be small and midsized firms, while those having assets between 500 billion won and 10 trillion won are labeled medium-sized, high-potential firms. Businesses with more than 10 trillion won in assets are deemed large conglomerates.

The 2021 number nearly doubled the previous year’s 107 firms, the data showed.

The number of smaller firms that joined the ranks of medium-sized firms came to 467 last year, bringing the total number for the second category to 5,480, according to the data.

The combined sales of the medium-sized companies came to 852.7 trillion won last year, up 10.7 percent on-year on the back of solid sales growth of manufacturing firms amid an economic recovery from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their operating profits surged 43.4 percent on-year to 53.2 trillion won, and the number of employees rose 1 percent to 1.59 million last year.

Their investment rose 15.2 percent to stand at 30.7 trillion won last year as companies expanded both facility investment and research and development projects for the first time in about three years, the data showed.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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