Price hikes result in KT&G profit surge

    KT&G’s first-quarter operating profits and revenue have increased significantly compared to the same period last year, due to price hikes and improvements in its affiliates’ performances, according to a story in the Korea JoongAng Daily.

    South Korea’s No. 1 cigarette and ginseng company’s operating profit increased by nearly 65 percent year-on-year to krw428.5 billion ($395 million). The company’s net profit increased by 55 percent to krw308.8 trillion.

    Although the company’s sales increased by value to 18 percent from one year ago—to krw1.14 trillion by volume—because of the increased prices of cigarettes, sales have actually decreased. KT&G sold 7.1 billion cigarettes in this year’s first quarter, a 41.4 percent decrease from the first quarter of last year, during which the company sold 12.2 billion cigarettes. The price hike has allowed KT&G to earn krw1,768 in profit on inventory cigarettes per packet.

    The company plans to spend the krw330 billion it earned in profits on the price change by giving back to the community.