By Woo Jae-yeon
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- LG Electronics Inc.'s chief executive has said the company's focus on the electric vehicle (EV) parts business for the past decade has started to bear fruit.
"Our EV business has made a turnaround 10 years after we entered the market," CEO Cho Joo-wan said during a press briefing Friday, the second day of CES 2023 in Las Vegas. "Now that the business is on the highway, all there is left to do is to step on the accelerator."
The tech company forecast its EV business to have turned to a profit last year and to continue to make profits throughout the new year.
The CEO's positive outlook is backed by the head of the EV business.
Eun Seok-hyun, president of LG's vehicle component solutions division who also attended the briefing, said he cautiously expects the EV business to grow significantly this year to top 10 trillion won (US$7.8 billion) in sales.
"The EV parts business is in a period of rapid change where technologies of many other industries are integrated and converge."
He said LG has a competitive edge over other industry players with its excellent expertise in customer experience. "Based on that, we can proactively make suggestions on order-to-make products for our customers," Eun said.
On other business fronts, LG CEO said "transformative changes" lie ahead of the company's TV business.
Like other major TV makers, LG has jumped into the race to become a leading content provider through approximately 180 million LG smart TVs.
LG is working with the on-demand streaming service Paramount Streaming, a division of Paramount Global, to increase the number of media content on LG's smart TV operating system webOS.
Paramount Streaming's Pluto TV, a free, ad-supported video streaming service, is expanding channel integration for LG Channels by adding over 100 channels globally in the first quarter.
Cho said the ad-support model has been driving LG's content business success, with the sales jumping tenfold last year from 2018.
Despite challenging macroeconomic conditions, LG's top executive offered a rosy picture for the company's performance in the future.
Negative external factors, including logistics costs, have shown signs of easing, he said.
"Things have improved greatly ... and I think business will start to get better from the first quarter," Cho said.
The tech firm's fourth-quarter operating profit was estimated to have plummeted more than 90 percent to 65.5 billion won (US$51.6 million) on sluggish consumer demand, the company's earnings guidance released Friday (Korean time) showed.
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