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(LEAD) LG Electronics' net loss narrows in Q4

All News 16:05 January 26, 2016

(ATTN: RECASTS lead; ADDS details throughout)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korean tech giant LG Electronics Inc. said Tuesday its net loss narrowed in the fourth quarter from a year earlier on strong sales of premium TVs and home appliances, despite a poor performance from its smartphone business.

Net loss came to 140.4 billion won (US$117 million) in the October-December period, compared with a deficit of 205.6 billion won during the same period in 2014, LG Electronics said in a regulatory filing.

Sales shed 4.7 percent on-year to 14.5 trillion won, and operating profit advanced 26.8 percent to 348.9 billion won.

For all of 2015, LG Electronics' net income reached 249.1 billion won, down 50.3 percent from the previous year. Sales edged down 4.3 percent to 56.5 trillion won, while its operating profit plunged 34.8 percent to 1.19 trillion won.

The net profit for 2015 hovered far below the market's earlier estimate. Local brokerage houses expected a net profit of 525.4 billion won, according to data compiled by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency.

The operating profit, however, came in line with the estimate of 1.19 trillion won. The fourth-quarter operating profit also met the earlier estimate of 340 billion won.

By sector, the home entertainment business posted an operating profit of 109.2 billion won in the fourth quarter, rising sharply from 2.1 billion won posted a year earlier on the back of the improved sales of high-end models.

The mobile business posted an operating loss of 43.8 billion won, continuing to post weak returns amid the heightened competition. The segment posted an operating loss of 77.6 billion won in the third quarter of 2015.

The mobile business posted sales of 3.7 trillion won, down 0.4 percent on-year. The figure, however, managed to climb 12 percent on-quarter on the back of the improved sales in the North American market.

Over the October-December period, LG sold 15.3 million units of smartphones, with high-end long-term evolution (LTE) models accounting for 10.8 million units, the largest amount since 2010, when LG first tapped the smartphone industry.

The home appliances and air solution division posted an operating profit of 214.8 billion won, doubling from 92.2 billion won posted a year earlier on the back of the improved sales of premium products.

The vehicle component business posted an operating profit of 9.7 billion won, marking the first time it boasted a quarterly profit.

Shares of LG Electronics closed at 54,800 won, down 3.52 percent from the previous session, when the benchmark KOSPI lost 1.15 percent. The fourth-quarter result was released after the market closed.

colin@yna.co.kr
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