Shown above is the head office of Woori Bank. The banking group chalked up a record profit during the first half of this year. Its competitors, including KB and Hana, also racked up record profits. Photo courtesy of Woori Bank

KB, Woori, Hana, POSCO, LG record stellar bottom lines

A flurry of South Korean companies chalked up record profits during the first half of this year, including KB, Hana, Woori, LG Household & Health Care, and POSCO.

KB Financial Group, the country’s largest banking group, logged a net profit of 2.49 trillion won ($2.15 billion) during the first six months of this year, up 44.6 percent from a year ago.

KB’s smaller rivals Hana and Woori netted 1.75 trillion won and 1.42 trillion during the January-July period, respectively. Both are record performances.

On top of the above-mentioned banking groups, domestic manufacturers also fared well in 2021 despite the lingering virus pandemic, as amply demonstrated by POSCO and LG Household & Health Care.

The former’s half-year bottom line topped 3.6 trillion won, while that of the latter was 485 billion won. POSCO is Korea’s largest steelmaker, and LG Household & Health Care is the country’s leading lifestyle company.

Hyundai Motor saw its first-half net profit more than triple to approach 2 trillion won year-on-year.

Korea’s other representative corporations, including tech giant Samsung Electronics and its cross-city rival LG Electronics, also recorded solid performances this year.

Watchers point out that the good performances would continue for the time being.

“Although some businesses are still languishing due to the virus infection, exporters are doing really well after the vaccination rates rise in major foreign countries. The brisk exports are expected to continue through next year,” Leaders Index CEO Park Ju-gun said.

“In the case of financial companies, they put lots of loan-loss provisions last year at the peak of the pandemic. Some of them were recognized as profits this year,” he said.