SEJONG-- Total sales for South Korean companies made a rebound for the first time in three years in 2016 on better performances in the construction and retail sectors, government data showed Tuesday.
The combined sales from 12,184 companies, excluding financial firms, reached 2,166 trillion won (US$1.97 trillion) last year, up 0.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. It is based on a survey of 12,472 companies with more than 50 regular workers and a paid-in capital of more than 300 million won.
It snapped two consecutive years of on-year drops in 2014 and 2015.
On average, companies also posted 177.8 billion won in sales last year, a gain of 0.3 percent from a year earlier.
Sales of construction companies rose 3.6 percent on-year to a combined 168 trillion won last year, while those of retail and wholesale businesses added 3.4 percent to 317 trillion won.
Hotels and restaurants saw their sales jump 15.4 percent on-year to 30 trillion won, while sales of real estate agencies soared 20.7 percent to 23 trillion won.
However, the manufacturing industry, which is responsible for more than half of the country's total business revenues, logged a 1.2 percent on-year dip, with sales standing at 1,296 trillion won.
Their net pretax profit rose 17.3 percent to 128 billion won last year on a rise in manufacturing, transportation and construction businesses.
The total number of people employment by the surveyed companies reached 4.44 million last year, with 3.93 million, or 88.4 percent, being full-time workers.
Their combined outlays in research and development (R&D) hit 43.5 trillion won in 2016, up 2.8 percent on-year, with 7.3 billion won R&D investment per company.
Source: Yonhap News Agency