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Conglomerates stingy in social contributions in 2012


SEOUL, July 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top 10 family-controlled conglomerates cut back on their social contributions last year despite a jump in their earnings, data showed Sunday.

Ninety-two listed companies affiliated with the conglomerates, known here as chaebol, contributed a combined 918.2 billion won (US$815 million) in 2012, down 7.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the data by, which tracks the country's conglomerates.

The ratio of their social contributions to net profits thus declined to 1.9 percent last year from 2.5 percent the previous year.

The drop in conglomerates' contributions strikes a sharp contrast to a surge in their earnings last year. The listed companies' profits of the 10 largest conglomerates, including Samsung Group, soared 20 percent on-year to 47.83 trillion won in 2012.

Samsung Group, whose flagship is global tech giant Samsung Electronics Co., contributed 377.2 billion won last year, up a mere 5.4 percent from the previous year and the largest among the conglomerates, though its earnings jumped 70.2 percent on-year to 25.37 trillion won.

Hyundai Motor Group followed with 118.1 billion won in social contributions, and most of the remaining conglomerates cut their contributions, according to the data.

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