Monday, November 03, 2003

KT's numbers do not add up

Meanwhile, something is fishy at Korea Telecom. One of the things that is surprising to me when Korea encounters the international media is how often things are ignored because of small amounts of Korea's importance and activity Internationally. Therefore many people probably skimmed this news on results and layoffs at KT with glazed eyes.

However if you do some simple and research math, things curious at KT.  First lets look at the numbers quoted in the article and in a KT statement here:

Jobs Cut  - 5,500 (13% of staff)
One time loss due to jobs - 832 billion won
Savings due to cut - 330 billion won per year
Average Salary of Cut Jobs - 60 million won year per year

Something here does not add up. Exactly who are they letting go for over 150 million won per head? Are these workers really working for 60 million a year? After all GDP per capita in Korea is only about 16 million won, and according to the Korean National Statistics Office (look yourself its too complex to post I think) a worker in telecommunications only makes about 36 million a year.

Again I ask, who are we really talking about. The only one that makes sense when you extrapolate from the industrial data at the NSO is "Senior Officials and Managers". However there is no news from KT on senior officials leaving in 3Q. Something is odd about this layoff.

Finally, something really eerie about the data I am talking about. I am using rough averages since I only have a little time to research and post, but this is too much for me not to note. If you take the rough monthly salary of an average worker and divide it by the rough month salary of a senior manager, you get a multiple of  1.67. If you take that multiple and multiply it by the rough average salary of a telecom worker, you get exactly 60 million won per year. Which is exactly the amount KT expects to save, and pays per worker. Curious, no?

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Choco-Lies-Tong Yang's numbers do not add up

The Korean blog world has been roused by IA's scathing review of Jooang's love fest over the "Choco-pie". I am not too sure about if the puff piece was a paid puff piece. The snack does have a place in Korean's hearts.

IA does a pretty good job that of pointing out the laughable inconsitances and double-speak in the artice, so nothin much more to cover. I would though like to bring up one word that shows that the "inventor" is lying through is teeth. The line is "idea came to [the inventor] while in a hotel cafeteria on [a] tour [of the United States]". Now I want to know what hotel in the US has a "cafeteria"??? One might say that there is a translational problem, and cafeteria means resturant. However based on my, admitedly limited, knowlege of Korean there are exlcusive words for "Cafeteria" and "Resturant". The former means an establishment that serves only one, usually inexpensive, set meal that varys form day to day. Again I ask you, what kind of Hotel was he staying at??? The story alone just does not add up!

That is a secondary observation though. I wonder if anybody bothered to fact check this article. The claim that Tong Yang has sold one trillion won worth of pies seemed doubtful to me, considering the product, and the scale in which they make it. Today I decied to take a look at the specifics on the company. Sure enough the TOTAL sales last year for the company were only about 529 Billion Won. Now let me get the straight, Tong Yang in ONE YEAR has manged to sell much more than double its its revenue on Choco-pies?

Even if you did not want to get off your ass and look at the books, you could tell something was funny. The article claims that 8.5 billion pies have been sold since 1974. Choco-pies sell from Tong Yang in my off-the-top-of-my-head-estimation of 350 won per pie (usally 500 individualy, but remeber margins and bulk discounts). So 8.5 billion pies means revenue of about over 29 years of around 3 trillion won. Again let me get this straight, Tong Yang expects me to belive that it gained ONE THIRD of all its historic Choco-pie revenue  in ONE YEAR?

Why does not anybody look into this stuff? Are Korean newspapers corrupt, or simply incompetant?