S. Korea's liquor firms fare badly in 2020 amid pandemic
South Korea's liquor companies performed poorly in 2020 as people consumed less alcohol due to the coronavirus outbreak, data showed Wednesday.
Sales of Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co., a major beer and soju brewer and beverage manufacturer, shrunk 7.7 percent on-year to 2.16 trillion won last year. Lotte Chilsung also reported an operating income of 97.2 billion won in 2020, down 10.8 percent from 2019.
Oriental Brewery (OB) Co., South Korea's largest brewer, suffered a 12.3 percent on-year decrease in sales to 1.35 trillion won last year, with its operating profit plunging 28 percent to 294.5 billion won.
The country's whisky makers also took a bigger hit from the coronavirus pandemic as bars were forced to cut operating hours and suspend operations.
Golden Blue's whisky sales tumbled 24.8 percent on-year to 127 billion won last year, with its operating income dropping 5.2 percent to 20.2 billion won.
Sales of Diageo Korea Co. plunged 32.6 percent on-year to some 200 billion won as its operating income plummeted by around 60 percent to 20 billion won.
Meanwhile, Pernod Ricard Korea's sales also fell 11.7 percent on-year to 91.5 billion won but recorded an operating profit of 16.1 billion won.
Hite Jinro Co. was the only South Korean liquor maker that did well, thanks to the popularity of its new products. Its sales soared 12 percent on-year to 2.05 trillion won last year, with its operating income surging 125.2 percent to 180.8 billion won.