Seoul, South Korea — Strong demand for flat-panel televisions pushed up first quarter sales in the display and media segment at LG Electronics to $2.1 billion, compared with $1.5 billion in the year-ago period.
Sales of digital televisions, such as PDPs and LCDs, increased 27 percent over the same quarter in 2003.
Operating profit in LG’s display and media segment, which includes both video and audio consumer electronics, hit $259.6 million, compared with $132.4 million in the first quarter last year.
LG, a diversified company making major appliances and handsets, in addition to Zenith-brand televisions, reported $1.5 billion in first quarter sales in its majap segment, up from $1.4 billion year-on-year. The company said "robust" exports of premium majaps led to overall category growth.
In LG’s telecommunications and handset segment, first quarter sales of handsets climbed to $1.4 billion, from $954.5 million year-over-year. Handset unit growth jumped 56 percent, compared with the same three months in 2003, to 8.75 million units. Phone exports rose 29 percent in the quarter, due mainly to increased shipments to North America.
LG, which claimed a record quarter of $5.2 billion in total sales — despite its sluggish domestic economy, the strong Korean won, surging oil prices and the delayed recovery of the global IT business — took in $4.5 billion in the first quarter of last year.
Overall LG net profit more than tripled in the first three months, reaching $506.2 million, compared with $167.9 million in the year-ago period. Operating profit in the first three months came in at $352.2 million, compared with $360.9 million year-over-year.