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Samsung, LG to overcome slump with premium lineups: shareholders' meetings

All Headlines 10:17 March 14, 2014

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's two tech giants pledged Friday to ramp up efforts to expand sales this year through their premium product lineups, each pledging to overcome economic challenges from home and abroad.

"Despite Samsung facing external challenges such as monetary uncertainties in the euro zone, the company posted an all-time high net profit and sales last year," Samsung Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun told shareholders.

Kwon said economic uncertainties sparked by the tapering of U.S. quantitative easing is likely to remain a major drag on its performance this year, while Chinese and Japanese rivals quickly catch up to stiffen competition.

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"We will maintain our dominance in key businesses, such as mobile phones, TVs and memory chips, by rolling out premium lineups," Kwon said, adding the company will also expand investment in other areas as well.

"Samsung will also establish a solid ground for new businesses such as medical instruments to further bolster its earnings," Kwon added.

Samsung Electronics reported a weak fourth-quarter bottom line in 2013 as smartphone sales slowed, its quarterly profit falling for the first time in two years.

The firm said it logged a net profit of 7.3 trillion won (US$6.8 billion) during the October-December period, a sharp fall from the 8.24 trillion won tallied the previous quarter.

For all of 2013, Samsung logged a net profit of 30.47 trillion won, up 27.7 percent from the 23.85 trillion won posted a year earlier.

Samsung's shareholders approved raising the paycheck ceiling for registered directors to 48 billion won from the previous 38 billion won, which included bonuses worth 18 billion won.

Meanwhile, LG Electronics Inc., Samsung's smaller local rival, also held its shareholders' meeting Friday, where it pledged to make efforts to overcome the protracted slump in the industry.

"LG Electronics will maintain its growth and profit by rolling out new trend-leading products," said LG Vice Chairman Koo Bon-joon during the meeting, adding there will still be economic challenges around the globe sparked by the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus tapering and financial unrest in emerging countries.

The company also said it will strive to expand its market presence in the smartphone market via its premium lineup including the G2 and the G2 Flex.

During the meeting, shareholders reappointed Koo as LG Electronics' inside director, along with the firm's chief financial officer, Jung Do-hyun.

For the whole of 2013, LG Electronics' net income reached 222.7 billion won, up 116.6 percent from the previous year, with its revenue and operating profit also advancing to reach 58.1 trillion won and 1.2 trillion won, respectively.


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