SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s major listed firms’ cash dividends shot up 60 percent in 2020 from a year earlier, led mostly by top market cap Samsung Electronics, data showed Sunday.

The combined amount of dividends handed out by 124 listed firms surveyed in 2020 reached 30.2 trillion won (US$26.8 billion), rising sharply from 19 trillion won disbursed a year earlier, according to the data compiled by market research firm FnGuide.

Net profit of the companies, meanwhile, shot up 19.6 percent on-year in 2020 to reach 58.1 trillion won.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics provided 20.3 trillion won to shareholders in 2020, which doubled from 9.6 trillion won tallied in 2019.

LG Chem Ltd. also provided 778.4 billion won to shareholders last year, which marked a fivefold growth compared with 2019, the data also showed.

South Korea’s No. 2 chipmaker, SK hynix Inc., saw its cash dividends reach 800 billion won, up 17 percent over the period.

LG Electronics Inc. paid out 2.06 trillion won to its shareholders as well, up 59.6 percent over the cited period.

Last month, Samsung said it will pay record dividends to shareholders later this year and more through 2023 to improve its shareholder value, a move that is also seen as smoothing out the leadership succession for Samsung Group heirs.

This file photo, taken July 30, 2020, shows an outdoor sign of Samsung Electronics Co. at the company’s building in Seoul. (Yonhap)