✅’좀비기업’ 31.0%→34.5%…2013년 이후 최대
Data are showing a growing gap caused by the pandemic… between industries and companies of different sizes.
Smaller companies are having trouble making their debt payments, even with interest rates at all-time lows.
But bigger IT companies are seeing their profits soar.
Kim Jae-hee has this report.
One out of three companies in South Korea are unable to pay the interest charged on their loans with their operating income.
According to the Bank of Korea on Thursday,… 34-point-5 percent of firms had an interest coverage ratio last year below 100 percent meaning that the interest charged on their debt was higher than their operating income.
This is up from the 31 percent recorded in 2019, and is the largest percentage since related data was first compiled in 2013.
But at the same time,… those with an interest coverage ratio of over 500 percent,… rose last year from 40-point-9 percent of all firms to 41-point-1 percent.
An expert explains that this reflects polarization… between industries.
“IT companies are seeing a huge rise in operating profit… that far exceeds their interest expenses. But small and medium-sized enterprises in the service industry… are struggling to make their payments.”
The BOK survey covered almost 26-thousand non-financial firms subject to external audit.
It shows that overall sales growth of businesses slowed down.
It slipped from negative one percent in 2019 to negative 3-point-2 percent in 2020.
It also shows that firms saw a higher ratio last year of operating income to sales, meaning they had bigger margins,… but that was only because materials were cheaper.
The operating income-to-sales ratio rose on year from 4-point-8 percent to 5-point-1 percent.
“The operating income-to-sales ratio increased despite worsening sales growth,… thanks to lower prices of raw materials. Electricity and gas companies were back in the black thanks to lower fuel prices.”
But with oil prices rising again,… and the Bank of Korea possibly raising interest rates this year because of inflation,… companies may have harder time recovering from the pandemic, including the debt they’ve accrued.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.
#SouthKorea #Economy #operating_income
2021-06-03, 17:00 (KST)
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