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(LEAD) LG Chem Q4 net jumps 89 pct on better petrochemical margins

All News 16:35 January 26, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details, comments in 4-8 paras)

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's leading chemicals and battery maker, said Tuesday its net profits soared in the fourth quarter from a year ago thanks to improved petrochemical margins amid low oil prices.

Net income came in at 207.04 billion won (US$171.93 million) in the October-December period, up 89.2 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Sales decreased 6.2 percent on-year to 5.04 trillion won, but operating profits advanced 52 percent to 352 billion won, it said.

For all of 2015, LG Chem's net earnings rose 34.5 percent to 1.14 trillion won and operating profits gained 29.1 percent to 1.82 trillion won. However, its sales slipped 15.2 percent on-year to 20.2 trillion won.

"Sales slightly decreased due to the global economic slowdown and drop in oil prices last year, but the spread in petrochemical and IT material businesses greatly improved," LG Chem said in a release.

The company plans to invest 1.78 trillion won in facilities and infrastructure in the auto battery businesses, setting its 2016 sales target at 21.7 trillion won.

Shares of LG Chem tumbled 7.78 percent to 278,500 won on news that the Chinese government may gradually phase out subsidies for green energy vehicles in the next five years. Earnings were released after market close.

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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