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(2nd LD) LG Chem Q1 net up 62 pct on solid demand

All News 18:09 April 19, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 6-9)

SEOUL, April 19 (Yonhap) -- LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's top chemicals firm, said Wednesday that its first-quarter earnings surged 62 percent from a year earlier on steady demand for its key products, particularly basic materials.

Net profit reached 548 billion won (US$480.7 million) in the January-March period, compared to a profit of 338 billion won a year earlier, it said in a regulatory filing.

Operating income also spiked 74 percent on-year to reach a record 797 billion won, and sales also rose 33 percent to a record 6.49 trillion won over the cited period, the company said.

LG Chem said its business division for basic materials managed to jack up its profitability due to seasonal factors with demand for other key products and higher spreads helping it log recent earnings.

Its basic materials-related business unit logged a record operating income of 734 billion won in the first quarter, up 57.4 percent from a year earlier.

Its battery unit, however, suffered from an operating loss of 10.4 billion won on sales of 999 billion won, it added.

"We think the first quarter result is the lowest, and there is slim chance of the business suffering an extended loss," said LG Chem.

Small battery and energy storage system-related business is making money, but the electric vehicle battery operation is doing poorly, it said.

LG Chem also said the operational rate of its battery plant in China has increased sharply in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter. The company said earlier the operation numbers, currently at 70 percent, should rise moving forward.

LG Chem said its bio business unit racked up an operating income of 20.6 billion won on sales of 129 billion won.

Last year, the company posted a net profit of 1.28 trillion won, rising from 1.15 trillion won a year earlier.

The company aims to log 22.82 trillion won in sales this year, up 10.5 percent from last year, it said earlier. The company also said it plans to spend 2.76 trillion won this year, sharply up 40 percent from last year.

(2nd LD) LG Chem Q1 net up 62 pct on solid demand - 1


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