The list of 500 biggest companies in South Korea in terms of sales has reportedly noted a significant change from the previous year, according to corporate tracker CEO Score, with the country reporting strong rise of K-pop, virtual currency, and battery firms.
According to the tracker, the ranking of chemical battery maker, LG Energy Solution, rose to 44 in 2021 from 343 in 2020, as it witnessed a surge in demand for its pouch and cylinder-type batteries due to the growing popularity of electric cars.
It is to be noted that CEO Score compiles the list according to the firms’ regulatory filings.
The list saw 39 new entrants last year, including enterprises such as Dunamu (no. 168), which operates the country’s largest digital currency exchange platform Upbit, and entertainment company Hybe (no. 447), which is the music and talent agency that manages global K-pop group BTS. Dunamu saw ₩3.7 trillion ($2.9 billion) in sales, while Hybe saw ₩1.26 trillion ($1 billion).
Oil refiners also went up on the list owing to high prices of oil, as well as the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic which caused higher petroleum products sales.
Consequently, the rank of GS Caltex rose from 25 to 12, with S-Oil going up from 41 to 21, and SK Energy jumping from 31 to 24, while Hyundai Oilbank went up from 51 to 37.
A CEO Score official stated that oil refiners were recovering after being hit by the pandemic, and added that the firm also saw structural changes in domestic industries.
Doosan, Incheon International Airport, and Orange Life Insurance were among the 39 firms that could not make the list this year despite having recorded ₩1 trillion ($795 million) in sales as revenues of large companies surged in 2021.
Samsung Electronics maintained the top spot, with ₩279.6 trillion ($222 billion) in sales, followed by Hyundai Motor with ₩117.6 trillion ($93.4 billion). Posco Holdings jumped from 6th to 3rd position with sales of ₩76.3 trillion ($60.6 billion).
LG Electronics came at 4th, with Kia Motors and Korea Electric Power Corp following, having gone down one step. Hanhwa maintained its 7th position from last year.
SK hynix, the second-largest global chipmaker jumped by four ranks to 8th, while LG Chem jumped 6 ranks to 9th.