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.