Dongkuk Steel chalks up strong performances
By Kim Tae-gyu
As far as business results are concerned, Dongkuk Steel holds bragging rights on its strong performance ― the firm has chalked up operating profits over the past three decades, since it opened in 1981.
In other words, the corporation did not fall into negative territory in the New Millennium even during such business slumps as the info-tech bubble burst in the early 2000s or the international financial crisis in the late 2000s.
Last year, the Seoul-headquartered company racked up 4.6 trillion won in sales for an operating profit of 153.7 billion won. Both are touted as solid figures, achieved despite the economic turbulence.
Dongkuk said that its competitive edge comes from continuous efforts on innovation and change as shown by its stronghold in thick steel plates for ships, the quality of which is unrivaled thanks to brisk in-house research, according to the outfit.
It also increased capacity of its flagship products ― on top of its existing production lines with an annual capacity of 2.9 million tons in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, Dongkuk built another foundry in Dangjin, South Chungcheon Province last year to produce an additional 1.5 million tons.
``Dangjin plants are the next-generation facilities based on our 40-year-old knowhow and latest cutting-edge technology. Local shipbuilders will not have to suffer from a lack of supply for thick steel plates anymore,'' Dongkuk CEO Kim Young-chul said.
``We will continue to come up with value-added steel plates, whose quality has already been acknowledged by the world's leading shipbuilders for a win-win relationship with our clients.''
In addition, Dongkuk has not spared investment to keep its prowess. Last year, the firm channeled about 500 billion won in building new facilities and plants both at home and abroad. It thinks of two blast furnaces in Brazil.
Another power of Dongkuk is its cooperative trade union, which has closely worked in together with the management.
``In 1994, labor and management at Dongkuk declared a `permanent peace,' for the first time in Korea. We have kept that promise since then,'' Kim said on the firm's Internet site. ``Harmony between the two has always been and will continue to be the competitive power of Dongkuk Steel.''