According to the results of its 2013 study on 28,135 venture firms by the Korea Venture Business Association (KOVA), last year’s venture businesses posted 6.72 billion won (US$6.36 million) in average sales, 380 million won (US$359,860) in gross operating profits, and 230 million (US$217,810) in net profits. The figures for 2012 were all up from a year ago.
The average annual growth rate of venture business sales was 15.8% last year, much higher than that of large companies (5.0%), or small and medium-sized enterprises (5.3%). In addition, venture firms recorded 5.7% of the gross operating profits to sales ratio, and 3.4% in the proportion of net profits to total sales, better than other types of companies.
A KOVA official said, “Despite the global recession, venture business performance was mainly due to economic revitalization of the software industry arising from the global popularity of mobile apps and SNS, as well as a positive trend in the electronic components industry, and the food and beverage industry.”
Last year, venture firms spent an average of 230 million won (US$217,810) on investment in new equipment, a 7.7% year-on-year gain, together with 200 million won (US$189,400) on investment in research and development, up 7.3% from the previous year. The ratio of R&D investment to sales of venture businesses (2.9%) is far higher than that of SMEs (0.7%), or the percentage of large companies (1.1%).
The average number of workers was 24.7 people per venture firm, a year-on-year increase of 4.7%. However, they suffered from a shortage of 2.8 employees on average. R&D faced the worst worker shortages with 66.6%, followed by production (52.6%), sales and marketing (52.0%), and middle management (45.2%).