Revenue growth among South Korean companies fell to a record low last year due to a pause in external growth of large manufacturers, central bank data showed Thursday.
Corporate sales increased 2.1 percent in 2013 from a year earlier, according to the Bank of Korea's survey of 492,288 South Korean businesses. It marked the lowest since the bank began compiling the data in 2002.
The revenue growth rate continued to decline from 15.3 percent in 2010 to 12.2 percent in 2011 and 5.1 percent in 2012.
Manufacturers, including tech firms and automakers that have bolstered the economy, recorded a revenue growth rate of 0.5 percent in 2013, hitting an all-time low.
The rate for large corporations stood at 0.3 percent in 2013, sharply down from 5 percent a year earlier. The rate for small businesses rose from 5.3 percent in 2012 to 5.6 percent in 2013.
The sluggish revenue came amid lower export prices caused by the local currency's appreciation to the U.S. dollar and the global economic slowdown.
Corporate profitability also worsened. The ratio of pre-tax profit to revenue came to 2.9 percent in 2013, logging an all-time low. The ratio kept falling from 4.9 percent in 2010 to 3.7 percent in 2011 and 3.4 percent in 2012.