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(2nd LD) LG Electronics operating profit up 20.2 pct in Q1

All Headlines 16:09 April 06, 2018

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By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- LG Electronics Inc. said Friday its first-quarter operating profit is estimated to have increased 20.2 percent from a year earlier, apparently on strong performances of home appliances and TVs.

The operating profit came to 1.1 trillion won (US$1.02 billion) in the January-March period, compared with 921 billion won posted a year earlier, the South Korean tech giant said in a regulatory filing.

Sales moved up 3.2 percent to 15.1 trillion won, compared with 14.6 trillion won posted for the same three-month period in 2017.

The operating profit came in above the market's estimate of 885.7 billion, which was compiled by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency, from 16 local brokerage houses.

LG did not give the individual performances and net profit estimates for each business division. The company will deliver its finalized earnings report later this month.

Although the figure is slightly below LG's record earnings of 1.2 trillion won posted in the second quarter of 2009, it still marks the first time that the company posted earnings exceeding 1 trillion won since then.

The South Korean tech giant is presumed to have posted improved earnings for its home entertainment business on the back of its OLED TV portfolio.

The home appliances arm is also expected to have performed well on increased sales of premium products, industry watchers said.

The smartphone segment, on the other hand, is estimated to have remained in the doldrums for the January-March period.

"Due to the challenging business environment of smartphones, the mobile communications arm is presumed to have not posted a sharp improvement in performances," NH Investment & Securities Co. said.

Industry watchers estimated LG probably posted an operating loss of around 10 billion won in the mobile communications division.

LG Electronics' mobile division posted an operating loss of 717.2 billion won for the whole of 2017, remaining in a slump after losing 1.2 trillion won a year earlier.

The company plans to showcase its new flagship, the G7 next month, which can play a decisive part in bolstering the mobile business.

The LG G7 is expected to come with improved artificial intelligence technologies for its camera and voice-recognition features.

Daishin Securities Co. said LG Electronics is expected to reduce its operating loss to 203.6 billion this year as the company continues to strive for more profitability.

Shares of LG Electronics closed 5.71 percent higher Friday at 111,000 won. The first-quarter guidance was released during the session.

(2nd LD) LG Electronics operating profit up 20.2 pct in Q1 - 1

colin@yna.co.kr
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