The Korea Herald


LG Electronics estimates to log second-highest Q1 profit of W1.5tr

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : April 7, 2023 - 18:04

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LG Electronics' headquarters in Yeouido, western Seoul (Yonhap) LG Electronics' headquarters in Yeouido, western Seoul (Yonhap)

LG Electronics said Friday it predicted its first-quarter operating earnings at 1.5 trillion won ($1.14 billion), which will likely be the company’s second-highest profit for the January-March period, outpacing Samsung Electronics' financial result for the first time in more than a decade.

In its earnings guidance, the consumer electronics giant estimated its January-March operating profit will likely fall 23 percent from a year ago. The operating income exceeded the local analyst consensus value of 1.1 trillion won provided to market intelligence FnGuide.

Sales were expected to have decreased 2.6 percent on-year to 20.4 trillion won, marking the third-highest figure in the first quarter. It was slightly lower than the market consensus of 20.8 trillion won. The data for net income was not available for Friday’s earnings guidance.

This means LG’s quarterly profit has outpaced Samsung Electronics for the first time since it embraced the International Financial Reporting Standards in 2009. Earlier in the day, Samsung reported a 14-year low quarterly operating income of 600 billion won amid the global chip downturn.

LG’s first-quarter operating earnings have actually risen by 10-20 percent from a year ago, considering the 80 billion won temporary gains from patent licensing it generated in the first quarter of last year.

The tech firm was able to respond to an array of challenges through its company-wide efforts such as restructuring its business portfolio and operational structure. It also saw rapid growth in the company’s promising vehicle component solutions business and business-to-business market expansion, according to LG officials.

Details on each business sector’s estimated figures were not available in Friday’s earnings guidance, but market watchers expect that LG’s key business divisions for home appliances, TVs and vehicle components put up solid results in the January-March period.

Hyundai Motor Securities' research head Noh Geun-chang said LG’s shipments of refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners would have improved in the first three months of this year than the previous quarter. He further noted that the operating profit margin also has been improved, thanks to reduced logistics and marketing costs, as well as Europe's economic recovery.

Market watchers said the consumer electronics giant would continue to see earnings growth in the April-June period. NH Investment & Securities analyst Lee Kyu-ha forecast LG’s “full-fledged earnings expansion” will be realized in the latter half, backed by a recovery momentum of home appliances and TV demand. He also gave a rosy outlook for its vehicle components’ order backlog.

LG’s earnings guidance came at midday Friday. The shares ended trading at 114,300 won on the same day, up 0.35 percent from the previous session’s close.

The breakdown of the first-quarter financial results will be out at the end of this month.