Listed firms' net falls 7.7 pct in fiscal 2012

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) -- Earnings of South Korean listed firms that closed the books in March sank 7.7 percent on-year in fiscal 2012 amid the volatile global financial market, data showed Tuesday.

Net profit of 37 firms listed on the main bourse reached 4.37 trillion won (US$3.86 billion) in the fiscal year, which ended on March 31, compared with 4.75 trillion won tallied a year earlier, according to the data by the Korea Exchange (KRX).

The firms' operating profit also shed 9.9 percent to 5.5 trillion won over the cited period, while their sales advanced 10.9 percent to reach 143.3 trillion won.

The profitability of the firms has been sluggish mainly due to a global downturn spurred by Europe's fiscal crisis, the KRX said.

By sector, brokerage houses fared worse in the fiscal year amid bearish market conditions, with their net profit plunging 47.3 percent to reach 584.5 billion won. Their operating profit sank 45.4 percent to 810.1 billion won.

In contrast, insurers and manufacturers also saw their net profit advance 3.5 percent and 169.1 percent, respectively, to reach 126.5 billion won and 35.8 billion won, according to the bourse operator.

Four firms listed on the secondary KOSDAQ market, which closed their book on March 31, reported a shortfall of 7 billion won in fiscal 2012, while sales moved up 3.1 percent to 292.2 billion won on a consolidated basis, the KRX added.

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