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Korea's Big Three Shipbuilders on Bumpy Road

December 3, 2012

Recent studies by Korea's International Trade Association & Hyundai Research Institute see major exporters facing a tough year ahead.

The International Trade Association sees  major exporters facing a tough climate for exports next year amid declining demand in overseas markets, according to private think tanks and industry experts, reports The Korea Times. Three major downside risks are weighing on local firms ㅡ the appreciation of the Korean won, the economic recession in the eurozone and spreading protectionism.

In a report on the country’s industrial outlook for 2013, the Hyundai Research Institute (HRI) highlights the deepening woes of the country’s major shipbuilders. Korea is home to the world’s three largest shipbuilders ㅡ Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Samsung Heavy Industries (010140.KS) and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. They have all posted sharp declines in their operation profits this year and the report suggests that the tough year will extend by another 12 months.

HHI decided recently to cut 10 percent of its executives in a preemptive measure to cope with worsening business environments. In November, the firm asked 100 employees to retire early in a bid to cut labor costs as it is suffering due to plummeting orders in the wake of the global economic downturn. These were the first voluntary redundancies since the company was founded in 1973.

Source: The Korea Times


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