By Cho Ji-hyun
LG Electronics announced its comeback Wednesday by getting back into the black, posting 13.15 trillion won ($12.19 billion) in sales and 130 billion won in operating profit for the first quarter of this year.
In its quarterly earnings report, the company said total sales maintained a similar level to the same period last year, down 0.4 percent. However, its net loss during the term was fixed at 15.7 billion won.
The world’s second-largest flat-screen television maker was in the red for the latter half of last year for failing to meet an early demand for smartphones. The smart device market boomed with the introduction of the Apple’s iPhone in November 2009.
But the local electronics maker was able to pull it through this year with the increased sales of products from the home entertainment unit, such as TVs, which solely recorded 5.27 trillion won in sales and 82.1 billion won in operating profit from January-March.
The company was noted for selling a record-breaking figure of 6.8 million units of flat-screen TVs even with the price drop of panels worldwide.
The firm’s home appliance business unit also saw an increase of 21 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching 2.69 trillion won in sales and 10.27 billion won in operating profit.
The air conditioning and energy solution business unit also topped 1 trillion won in sales, with an operating profit of 39.1 billion won.
LG’s mobile communication unit, however, continued to record a loss with 2.99 trillion won in sales and 100.5 billion won in operating profit. But it was recovering at a fast pace with a smaller loss rate ― minus 3.5 percent in the last quarter from minus 7.7 percent in the final quarter of last year ― when looking at its operating income figure.
LG officials said the financial situation for the company is expected to further brighten up in the second quarter with the surge in 3-D TV sales and an improved line-up of smartphones.
They also said business expansion is planned for the home appliance market with a variety of smart home appliance and refrigerators that focus on style and energy-efficiency.
“The phrase ‘tougher LG,’ which has been stressed by vice chairman Koo Bon-joon since his inauguration, has finally proved itself,” said a LG official.
“We will continue to make improvements in earnings by seeking a real turnaround from the second quarter.”