SK Profits Record

The South Korean entertainment industry posted record profits for the first half of 2012.

According to the Bank of Korea, entertainment companies, propelled by the worldwide popularity of K-pop, recorded combined profits of $140 million, which is an 11 percent increase over the same period last year.

The bank predicts that profits will continue to increase for the second half of the year, with traditionally more concerts in the fall and around New Year’s.

A week earlier, the bank also reported a $30 million surplus in the trade accounts related to cultural and recreational services for the first three months of the year. These figures take into account all foreign trade in entertainment and recreation except the tourism sector. It is the first time the account has shown a surplus of more than $12 million for three months straight.

Experts point out that Korea usually recorded a trade deficit in this sector until the rise of K-pop.

The Korea Herald adds that the stock prices of the country’s three top entertainment agencies are “skyrocketing,” due to the fact that their combined sales outside of South Korea add up to 78.6 billion won ($70 million), which account for 41 percent of all overseas entertainment-related revenues.

“Prices can rise more,” a researcher told the newspaper, “as agencies are planning to expand more overseas and also into other business realms like TV dramas, and also thanks to the improvement of the digital music charging system.”