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Top firms fare well in overseas resources development in 2012
SEOUL, July 28 (Yonhap) -- Top firms in South Korea fared well in resources development projects abroad last year despite the global downturn, drawing a contrast to lackluster performances by state-run energy companies, data showed Sunday.

   The combined net profit of 84 energy affiliates of the top 10 conglomerates reached 322.6 billion won (US$290.2 million) in 2012, with their total sales coming in at 3.46 trillion won, according to the data by, a local corporate information provider.

   The ratio of their net profit to revenues averaged 9.3 percent last year, up from the average 5.5 percent tallied among the entire affiliates, the data showed.

   Given that the data are only based on the performances of the top firms' offshore arms, the total corporate earnings from overseas resources development projects, including those of local-based players, will likely be much higher, said.

   Among the top 10 companies, Samsung trumped others, with its 14 offshore energy firms under its wing reaping a combined profit of 139.7 billion won, or a 31.8 percent net profit margin ratio.

   POSCO, the country's leading steelmaker, raked in a combined 112.8 billion won in net profit from its 14 energy affiliates, with the net income ratio coming in at 22.7 percent over the cited period.

   LG Group trailed behind with a net profit of 56.5 billion won, followed by SK Group with a net income of 18.9 billion won, the data showed.

   Experts said their upbeat figures draw a contrast to the poor results by Korea's state-run energy firms that have suffered huge losses from taking part in crude or mining development overseas.

   In late June, the government began to push for a termination of overseas energy projects currently being pursued by local public energy firms citing growing debts.

   The state-run Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC) recently decided to pull out of its oil exploration project in Uzbekistan, following the decision to sell its 42.5 percent stake in a Kazakhstani oil field.