major firms-donations

SEOUL, March 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's major companies sharply cut their financial contributions to society last year although their sales increased sharply despite the global economic downturn, data showed on Wednesday.

According to the data compiled by research firm CEO Score, the top 17 companies in terms of market capitalization donated a combined 860 billion won (US$770 million) last year, compared with 1.06 trillion won a year earlier. Public firms and financial holding firms were excluded from the calculation.

Their combined sales jumped 11 percent on-year to reach 654.6 trillion won last year, the data showed.

Consequently, the portion of their donations to sales reached 0.13 percent last year, down from 0.18 percent a year earlier, they showed.

Samsung Electronics Co., the country's top market cap, made donations worth 235 billion won, the largest amount among others, but its amount fell 37 billion won last year from a year earlier.

The portion of its donations to sales stood at 0.12 percent last year, below the average figure for the surveyed firms, data showed.

POSCO, the country's top steelmaker, followed with 74 billion won worth of donations, trailed by Hyundai Motor Co. with 70.3 billion won, the data showed.

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