Kolon Industries, the chemical and textile unit of Kolon Group, saw its operating profit jump more than 10 percent in the first half of this year compared to a year earlier as the company showed good performance in the Chinese fashion market and the U.S. auto materials market.
Kolon Industries announced on August 10 that it posted 2.28 trillion won (US$2.09 billion) in consolidated sales and 163.7 billion won (US$149.63 million) in operating profits in the first half year. With the price of petrochemical materials having continued the steady decline worldwide, its sales went down 6.2 percent compared to the same period last year, while its operating profits went up 12.2 percent.
As Kolon Industries’ strategy targeting the clothing and car materials sectors in the two largest markets – China and the U.S. – has worked brilliantly, the company has made good showings. Sales of Kolon Sport, an outdoor gear and clothing brand of Kolon FnC, the fashion unit of Kolon Industries, in the Chinese market increased a whopping 130 percent on year in the first quarter this year. The company has recently maintained a sales growth rate of 20 percent to 30 percent in the Chinese market. Its efforts to strengthen the automotive materials sector, including tire cord and airbag, targeting the U.S. market, had a noticeable effect as well.
Kolon Industries plans to keep up the rapid growth in China and the U.S. by boosting the investment in the advanced car materials and chemical sectors. One of the examples is that the company has started operation of the airbag cushion production plant in Mexico In the middle of last month. Kolon Plastics, a subsidiary of Kolon Group, has jointly established the plant producing engineering plastic, which is catching on as car lightweight materials, with the Germany-based chemical company BASF in Gimcheon, South Gyeongsang Province, in April this year.
In addition, Kolon Industries carried out the investment of some 80 billion won (US$73.13 million) earlier this month in a bid to mass produce colorless polyimide (CPI) for the first time in the world, making its effort to lead the information technology materials market. CPI is catching on as the next-generation display materials as CPI is used in flexible and rollable smartphones.