Seoul, South Korea - LG Electronics reported a net loss in the fourth quarter on slightly higher sales due in part to lower sales and an operating loss in its cellphone business.
The net loss for the quarter was 256 billion won, compared with net income of 362 billion won for the same quarter in the prior year.
Sales in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, were 14.7 trillion won, down year on year from 14.4 trillion won.
In LG's mobile communications sector, handset sales were 3.3 trillion won in the quarter, down from the prior year's 3.9 trillion won. LG expects a turnaround in handsets during 2011, with an increase of 8 percent in unit sales and higher profitability due to an emphasis on premium smartphones and tablet PCs.
In its home entertainment, sector sales were 6.21 trillion in the quarter, up from the prior year's 5.93 trillion in sales. Profitability in the fourth quarter decreased from the third quarter due to intensified competition in TVs, resulting in lower unit prices.
LG expects LED TV sales to increase during 2011, with competition increasing from set makers trying to dominate premium products, such as 3D and smart TVs.
In major appliances, sales increased 14 percent year on year to 2.8 trillion won due to strong sales in North America and emerging markets and LG expects growth opportunities in North America "if the economic recovery materializes," the company said.