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Japanese consumer businesses in S. Korea suffer 71% dip in operating profits

Asahi Beer suffered poor sales in South Korea.

The operating profits of 31 Japanese consumer goods producers in South Korea plunged to 71 percent in 2019 on-year due to a boycott against Japanese products.

Sales of the Japanese firms also dipped by 6.9 percent, with those of foodstuffs decreasing nearly 20 percent during the period.

Japanese beer distributor Lotte Asahi Liquor Co. saw its sales cut in half to 62.4 billion won while suffering a 30.8 billion won operating loss.

Fashion retailer Uniqlo also saw its sales in South Korea dip 31.3 percent to 443.9 billion won while also absorbing an operating loss of 240 billion.

Meanwhile, Japanese cosmetic makers and retailers in South Korea have to endure on-year sales drops of 7.3 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.

The two states have been in a trade dispute since July 2019 after Japan restricted exports to South Korea of materials crucial to the latter's production of chips and displays.

South Korea's exports to Japan also suffered, slipping 6.9 percent to 33.6 trillion won in 2019 from a year earlier.

South Korea treats Japan's hostile stance as a retaliation against a court's decision ordering Japanese firms to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor during the 1910-45 colonial rule.

Japan claimed that such demeanor was a result of South Korea not effectively controlling sensitive materials that could be utilized for military purposes.

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