Fourty-five of South Korea’s top 500 companies were replaced last year with retail and IT players making strong moves while food companies retreated.
According to Seoul-based corporate evaluation website CEO Score on Wednesday, fourty-five or 9 percent of the country’s top 500 companies based on revenue either newly entered or left the top 500 club. By industry, seven retailers and six IT firms newly joined the country’s top 500 club while nine food and beverage companies were dropped out.
Among the new entrants, Hyundai Chemical Co. made the strongest move by taking 161st place, and Hyundai Construct Equipment Co. and Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems Co. – those spun off from the country’s largest shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. trailed behind by ranking 260 and 321, respectively.
Meanwhile, STX Corp., which ranked 397th in 2016, along with Hanwha Q Cells Corp., IBM Korea, and Harim Co. lost seats in the country’s top 500 club.
The combined revenue of the country’s top 500 companies amounted 2,777 trillion won ($2,576 billion), up 8.2 percent from a year ago. Their combined operating profit jumped 30.2 percent to 223 trillion won during the cited period.
By company, Samsung Electronics Co. kept its dominant leadership by recording 240 trillion won revenue last year. Hyundai Motor Co. that suffered a hard year in China retained No. 2 position with revenue of 96 trillion won. LG Electronics Inc. came third, followed by Posco, Korea Electric Power Corp., and Kia Motors Corp. Others on the top 10 list were Hanwha Corp., Hyundai Mobis Co., Samsung Display Co., and KEB Hana Bank.
SK Hynix Inc., which posted record-high earnings last year on an exceptional boom in the global semiconductor market, ranked 13th, up 17 notches from the previous year.
By sector, retail industry had the largest number of companies included in the country’s top 500 club with 50 firms on the list. Construction and building materials industry followed next with 46 firms, tagged by automobile and automotive parts industry with 45 companies and petrochemical industry with 44 businesses making the top 500 list. There were 37 IT/electronics companies and 32 insurance companies in the top 500.
Among the country’s 60 large conglomerates, 23 affiliates under SK Group made the top 500 list while Samsung and Lotte had 20 and 19, respectively. Hyundai Motor Group had 17, LG 13, and Hanwha 13 included in the top 500.
By Chun Gyung-woon and Cho Jeehyun
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