Hyundai Asan to Post $10 Mil. in Operating Profit

Korea Times
Ryu Jin

Hyundai Asan, the South Korean operator of various cross-border economic projects with North Korea such as Mt. Geumgang tourism program, said Friday that its operating profit this year is estimated to exceed 10 billion won (roughly $10.6 million).

“We saw a great upturn for our profits this year thanks to an increase in the number of tourists to Mt. Geumgang,’’ a ranking company official said. “According to our tentative calculation, the operating profit is expected to surpass 10 billion won.’’

Hyundai Asan, which began another tour program to North Korea’s border city of Gaeseong this year, expects that the company’s annual sales will reach 300 billion won this year, a notable increase from 220 billion won last year.

According to the firm, some 350,000 people crossed the border to the North to visit the mountain resort on the eastern part of the peninsula, up from last year’s 240,000, largely thanks to the launch of a new route up the inner part of the mountain in June.

Company officials anticipate that the tours will further prosper next year, as it plans to start a fresh tour program to Mt. Baekdu on the border between China and North Korea next May.

Founded in February 1992, Hyundai Asan has suffered losses for a long time. But its large-scale investment in the poverty-stricken Stalinist state is paying off at last. In 2005, the company went into the black with 5.7 billion won in operating profit for the first time.


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