AmorePacific head expresses concerns over THAAD dispute
By Kim Seung-yeon
SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) -- The chief of South Korea's top beauty product maker AmorePacific Group voiced concerns Friday over the possible negative impact the company may face stemming from a trade spat with China over the U.S. anti-missile system.
Bae Dong-hyun, the president and chief executive of AmorePacific Group, the holding company of the namesake cosmetics manufacturer, said the "THAAD row could disrupt the company's marketing activities in China."
His comment came as South Korean firms with business ties to China are under mounting pressure to stave off the fallout from Beijing's attempts to hamper trade in a reprisal for Seoul's stationing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery on its soil.
China has slammed its neighbor for making the decision which it claims will be used to spy on its own military and thus undermine regional security.
"If the situation worsens after the deployment is completed, we could suffer a blow in sales," Bae told reporters at the general shareholder meeting held earlier in the day.
AmorePacific Group posted 1.82 trillion won (US$1.68 billion) in annual operating profit for 2016, with revenue reaching 6.7 trillion won. Recent analysts' reports predicted that the cosmetics company could see its operating income sink by as much as 20 percent if the THAAD tension deepens going forward.
About 45 percent of AmorePacific's annual revenue came from China-related sales, according to a market report by NH Investment & Securities Co. Of that, 27 percent were from duty-free sales with the rest generated from its local units in China.
In this photo taken by AmorePacific Group, President Bae Dong-hyun speaks at the general shareholder meeting at the headquarters in Seoul, on March 17, 2017. (Yonhap)