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(LEAD) LG Electronics to close solar panel biz amid uncertainties

All News 10:49 February 23, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in last 7 paras)

SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Yonhap) -- LG Electronics Inc. said Wednesday that it decided to discontinue its solar panel business due to rising costs and fierce competition.

The decision came "as uncertainties in the global solar panel business continue to increase due to a variety of factors, including price competition and the rising cost of raw materials."

LG said it will commit more resources to its core business sectors, including consumer appliances, and other future growth engines such as robots.

LG's business solutions division, which runs the solar panel business, will "reorganize its portfolio around key pillars -- information technology and information display," the company said.

It will also make efforts "to leverage its renewable energy expertise" in developing energy storage system and energy management solutions.

The closure of the solar panel business is expected to be completed by June 30, it said, adding that it will provide maintenance support for its existing customers for "a period of time" after the closure.

Despite the closure, solar panel production will continue until the second quarter of this year, LG Electronics said, "to maintain adequate inventory for future service support."

Some 900 employees at the energy business sector will be reassigned to other divisions.

Launched in 2010, the South Korean tech giant's solar panel business has been struggling in recent years, with decreasing sales amid intensifying competition from Chinese companies armed with panels at cheaper prices.

Last year, the company closed its mobile phone business after its launch 26 years ago, in what it saw as a strategic decision to focus more on growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and business-to-business solutions.

This photo taken on Sept. 23, 2020, shows the headquarters buildings of LG Group in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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