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LG Tallies 28% Q4 Rise In Operating Profit

Seoul, South Korea — LG Electronics said Thursday that operating profit for its fiscal fourth quarter rose 28 percent from a year earlier to 275 billion won ($250 million), but price competition and exchange rate issues impacted the bottom line in the period.

For the full year, LG said operating profit more than doubled on the strength of its high-end TVs and record smartphone shipments. LG’s net profit of $474.81 million marked an increase of 125 percent from 2013, as revenue rose 1 percent to $55.91 billion from the prior year.

But the company said profit from the TV division dropped in the fourth quarter to 1.7 billion won, from 153 billion won a year ago.

Intensified price competition for TVs and the weakness of emerging market currencies in Russia and Brazil negatively impacted results in the period, LG said. Also, the closure of LG’s plasma unit contributed a net loss of $189.41 million during the quarter.

For the year, operating profits from LG’s home entertainment operations rose 31 percent to 509 billion won ($482 million).

Despite not shipping any new models in the three-month period, strong sales for LG’s latest smartphones put the mobile business in the black, with a 67.4 billion won ($614 million) profit on shipments of 15.6 million smartphones.

For the full year, LG shipped 59.1 million smartphones, an increase of 24 percent over 2013.

Going forward, LG said its mobile segment is expecting a challenging year ahead as competitor builds from manufacturers in China and other areas.

LG said it will focus on improving the power of its brand and driving better operating efficiencies, while narrowing its focus on key markets.

LG’s home appliance and air conditioning units posted incremental increases, after stronger sales in the Middle East and Europe balanced out weaker sales from North America.