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Coronavirus dents major business sectors' Q1 output

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

More than half of South Korea's 29 major business sectors suffered setbacks in output in the first quarter due to the new coronavirus outbreak, boding ill for their second-quarter earnings, a market tracker said Wednesday.

CEO Score said aviation, smartphone, display and 14 other industrial sectors saw their production shrink in the January-March period from a year earlier.

The aviation sector was hit hardest with a 35.9 percent tumble as travel demand tanked following lockdowns and business shutdowns sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

The smartphone industry came next with a 26.7 percent fall, with production of display makers sinking roughly 24 percent.

Global smartphone shipments dipped 13 percent on-year to only 295 million units in the first quarter with industry leader Samsung Electronics Co. suffering an 18 percent on-year drop to 59 million units.

The display sector's output sank approximately 24 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier.

In contrast, the semiconductor industry enjoyed a 34.9 percent spike in first-quarter output as demand surged due to to stay-at-home orders and online teaching.

Gainers of more than 10 percent included delivery companies, petrochemical firms and pharmaceutical makers.

The novel coronavirus has infected 5.58 million people and killed more than 350,000 globally since its first case was reported in China in December. South Korea's caseload hovers above 11,200 with its death toll reaching 269. (Yonhap)
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