SEOUL-- South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung and two other major business groups took the lion's share of listed firms' earnings this year as their subsidiaries posted stellar performances, data showed Thursday.
According to the data from the Korea Exchange, 29 listed companies belonging to Samsung, LG and SK groups registered a combined net profit of 56.2 trillion won (US$50.7 billion) in the first nine months of the year, 2.1 times the amount during the same period a year earlier.
The figure accounted for a whopping 60.7 percent of the total net profit of 92.5 trillion won recorded by 525 companies listed on the main stock market, excluding financial firms, during the January-September period. The ratio was up from 38.6 percent during the same period last year.
The total net of the 525 firms was an all-time high and up 34.2 percent from the previous year, but it was down 14.1 percent if earnings by subsidiaries of Samsung, LG and SK are excluded.
The combined net income of the nation's top five family-controlled conglomerates, including Hyundai Motor and Lotte groups, spiked 64.4 percent on-year to 64.9 trillion won during the nine-month period.
The number took up 70.1 percent of the total net profit of the 525 firms, compared with 57.1 percent a year earlier.
Market watchers attributed the increased portion of Samsung, LG and SK groups to robust performances by their information technology units.
Samsung Electronics Co., the world's top smartphone and memory chip maker, accounted for 93 percent of Samsung Group's net profit gain of 15.4 trillion won.
LG Display Co. and LG Electronics Inc. took up 59 percent of No. 3 conglomerate LG Group's net increase, with chip giant SK hynix Inc. accounting for 68.5 percent of No. 3 SK Group's net growth.
Experts, however, voiced concern that such a concentration of profit in a few conglomerates is not desirable for the stock market's soundness or for the national economy.
Source: Yonhap News Agency