Speculation is rife that South Korean distiller Jinro will return to the country's stock market after the company yesterday (8 May) reported a 30% hike in profits for the first quarter.

The company's Q1 profits, which were recorded at KRW34bn (US$32.6m), were 30% higher than the same period last year. This was thanks in part to a 3.9% increase in sales, which totalled KRW171.6bn ($164.3m). The news sparked hopes that the country's leading soju producer would go public later this year, five years after it filed for bankruptcy and was delisted from South Korea's main stock market.

"Ahead of a relisting, the significant recovery in earnings will help maximise our corporate value," an official at Jinro was cited as saying in local press today (9 May).