The Korea Herald


TV, Smartphone sales boost LG Electronics earnings

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Jan. 27, 2014 - 18:40

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South Korea’s tech giant LG Electronics Inc. said Monday its net loss narrowed in the fourth quarter of 2013 from a year earlier on improved smartphone sales.

Its net loss came to 63.4 billion won ($58.76 million) in the October-December period, improving from the 478.1 billion won posted a year earlier, LG Electronics reported in a regulatory filing.

Revenue, or sales, edged up 0.8 percent on-year to 14.9 trillion won, and operating profit surged 103.8 percent to 238.1 billion won, it said.

For all of 2013, LG Electronics’ net income reached 222.7 billion won, up 116.6 percent from the previous year, with its revenue and operating profit also advancing to 58.1 trillion won and 1.2 trillion won, respectively.

LG attributed its improved fourth-quarter performance to robust sales of its high-end, Long Term Evolution smartphones, along with improved sales of its TV lineup.

By sector, LG said its mobile communications division saw its revenue advance 28 percent on-year in the fourth quarter, with its smartphone shipments exceeding the 13 million mark for the first time.

The tech giant said the fourth-quarter revenue of its home entertainment division advanced 18 percent on the back of improved LCD TV sales in advanced markets, buoyed by the end-year seasonal demand.

The company’s marketing strategy for its premium display lineup including ultra HD TV also added to improved sales figures, it added.

LG said its home appliances sector, however, posted a sluggish performance due to intensified competition in emerging markets such as India.

Its air-conditioning and energy solution division posted revenue of 719.7 billion won, up 8 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts said the company’s performance met market expectations. “The company’s Home Entertainment division showed good performance as it benefited from the strong exchange rate against euro, while a cut in television panel costs led to a better margin,” said Yoon Hyuck-jin, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities Co.

He added that he expects LG Electronics to reach its sales target of 62.3 trillion won this year.

John Seo, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp. also predicted that the company would achieve its target growth this year.

“LG Electronics will see its annual operating profits higher than last year as the company’s focus on low-end smartphone lineups and ultrahigh-definition TV will lead to good performance,” he said.

By Shin Ji-hye and news reports