Hyundai Motor Group’s first half net profit overtook that of Samsung Group for the first time, aided by rising automobile sales and difficulties faced by Japanese carmakers, data showed Sunday.
According to the Korea Exchange and the Korea Listed Companies Association, the combined net profit of Hyundai Motor Group companies required to file consolidated financial statements came in at 9.17 trillion won ($8.6 billion), while the figure for comparable Samsung Group firms came to 8.1 trillion won.
Compared to the same period last year, Hyundai Motor Group firms’ figure jumped 42.5 percent, while that of Samsung Group had dropped by 20.6 percent.
The figures are for listed companies whose fiscal year ends in December.
Companies with more than 2 trillion won assets and financial companies are required to submit consolidated financial statements that include figures for subsidiaries.
In terms of sales and operating profits Samsung Group maintained the lead of Hyundai Motor Group.
For the first half of the year, relevant Samsung Group firms posted sales of 109.9 trillion won and operating profits of 8.9 trillion won. In comparison, Hyundai Motor Group’s sales and operating profits came in respectively at 93.1 trillion won and 8.7 trillion won.
However, the figures showed that Hyundai Motor Group had significantly narrowed the gap with the country’s largest conglomerate.
Hyundai Motor Group’s first half sales fell short of that of Samsung Group by 15.9 trillion won while operating profits fell short by 218.9 billion won. In comparison, Hyundai Motor Group’s first half sales figure for last year was nearly 26 trillion won less than that of Samsung Group, while the gap in operating profits for the period was more than 5 trillion won.
Much of the drop in Samsung Group’s figures is thought to have been caused by difficulties in the IT industry, including the drop in semiconductor prices.
According to analysts, Korea exported 79.2 percent more semiconductors than it did during the first half of last year, but the 36.3 percent drop in prices dragged down profits.
As such, Samsung is not alone among Korean conglomerates depending heavily on the IT industry to have seen profits drop.
According to the data, LG Group’s net profits for the first half went from the 6.09 trillion won recorded last year to 2.4 trillion won.
The changes have also left their mark on the prices of the two group’s flagship firms’ shares.
At market close on Friday, Samsung Electronics’ market capitalization stood at 221.4 trillion won. While the figure is still far ahead of Hyundai Motor Co.’s market capitalization of 140.1 trillion won, the gap has narrowed significantly compared to the end of last year, with Hyundai Motor’s gaining 31.1 trillion won and Samsung Electronics’ shedding nearly 45 trillion won.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org