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Samsung Increases Korean Market Share
Aug 22, 2005
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Samsung Electronics has taken market share from LG Electronics (LGE) in white-colored home appliances where LG has long dominated. The gap in market share between the two electronics companies in that sector has narrowed according to industry sources. The market share of LGE's top four white goods in the local market--color television sets, washing machines, refrigerators, and microwave ovens--all fell in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year.

In the washing machine market, LGE's share dropped by 2.3 percent to 56 percent in the January to June period this year compared to 58.3 percent last year. The company also said the share of the nation's second biggest electronics firm in the refrigerator market fell to 51.5 percent from 52.9 percent in the same period. The market share of the company in color television sets and microwaves also fell.

On the other hand, Samsung Electronics, which has yet to beat LGE in home appliances, succeeded in expanding its market share in four leading white electronics goods. Samsung's market share in washing machines rose 4 percent to 47.1 percent, up from 43.1 percent in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year, while its share of the market in color televisions grew to 47.2 percent from 47 percent.

"There are bubbles in the market share of each of the white goods reported by the two electronics companies. But it is obvious that LGE is challenged by Samsung in white goods," industry watchers said.

LGE still remains ahead of Samsung Electronics in home appliance sales in the first 6 months of this year. LGE's turnover in the sector was at 1.3 trillion won (approx. U.S. $1.3 billion), higher than Samsung's 928.5 billion won (approx. $908 million). But industry observers said nobody can be sure LGE will continue to be on the top as Samsung is in fast pursuit of its rival.

Samsung Electronics achieved a 1 trillion won (approx. $977.9 million) goal in sales in the second half of the year in the home appliance business, chalking up a surplus in five quarters. Samsung has already beat LGE in sales of some white goods. In television sets, Samsung's sales reached 331.1 billion won (approx. $322.2 million) in the first half, while LGE accounted for 306.8 billion won (approx. $298.6 million) in sales.

As part of an effort to meet the rising competition from Samsung in local markets, LGE partially reorganized its marketing division. LGE officials downplayed the challenge by Samsung, claiming it is confident that it will keep the lead in the white home appliance market. (The Korea Times)

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