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S. Korean listed firms' Q2 performances miss market estimates

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean listed firms' second-quarter business performances were weaker than expected due largely to slumping domestic demand and the local currency's strength to the U.S. dollar, data showed Wednesday.

According to the data combined by Kiwoom Securities Co., a combined operating income at 102 listed firms that have reported their second-quarter earnings was tallied at 20.4 trillion won (US$19.72 billion), 9 percent lower than the market estimate of 22.5 trillion won.

Their combined net profit amounted to 17.8 trillion won, also smaller than the market projection of 19.2 trillion won, the data showed.

"Corporate earnings were still weak during the second quarter," said Seo Myong-chan, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. "But their net profit is expected to rise by more than 15 percent this year, and earnings momentum will accelerate down the road."

For one, Samsung Electronics Co., the country's top market cap, reported poor second-quarter business results as its mainstay handset business suffered from rising competition in the global market.

The tech behemoth's second-quarter net profit fell 19.5 percent from a year earlier to 6.25 trillion won.

Its operating profit came to 7.19 trillion won, down 24.6 percent from the previous year. It is the first time for Samsung's quarterly operating profit to fall below the 8 trillion won mark since the second quarter of 2012, when it posted 6.46 trillion won.

But separate data from Hana Daetoo Securities show that more than half of listed firms that have released their second-quarter performance posted a rise in their net profit for the second quarter compared to a year earlier.

Although Samsung Electronics' poor performance dented the overall performance of listed firms, more individual firms logged better than expected results. Some 60 percent of 155 listed firms logged a growth in their net profit during the second quarter compared to a year earlier, the data showed. The tallied firms account for some 63 percent of the total market cap, the brokerage said.

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