LG Electronics, Inc. of South Korea reported record revenues and operating profits in the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2009. The manufacturer’s appliance sales were also up, but air-conditioner sales were down.
Sales on a global basis (including LG’s overseas subsidiaries) rose 6.8% to U.S. $12.2 billion year-over-year. Operating profit was up to $382 million, resulting in a margin of 3.1%, 2.3 percent points higher than the fourth quarter last year. 2009 annual sales on a global basis soared 12.5 percent to a company record-high level of $43.4 billion, with operating profit recording $2.3 billion.
The LG Home Appliance Company posted a sales increase of 6.8% (on a KRW currency base) to $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period last year. The company said recovery of demand in emerging markets contributed to this growth year-over-year. Operating profit was $65 million, resulting in a margin of 3.1 percent. Total sales for full year 2009 rose 10.9% over 2008 to $ 7.4 billion.
The LG Air Conditioning Company recorded a 9.4% decline in fourth-quarter revenues on a KRW currency base (3% rise on a US dollar currency base) to $530 million year-over-year. Full-year sales reached $ 3.5 billion, 1.4% lower than a year earlier. Highly efficient commercial air conditioning products led the growth in Korea, LG said.
The LG Home Entertainment Company saw fourth-quarter sales rise by 18% to $5.0 billion, largely due to rising demand for LCD TVs and Plasma TVs. Unit sales of total flat panel TVs jumped 52% year-over-year to 6.6 million sets from 4.3 million. Annual sales reached $15.3 billion, jumping 19.9% from the previous year, mainly led by record unit sales of 19.5 million flat panel TVs.
The LG Mobile Communications Company reported sales of $3.6 billion, 7.4% lower than the 2009 fourth quarter. Handset revenues were $3.3 billion, a 5% decline from the same quarter in 2008; however, unit shipments of handsets saw an increase of 32% year-over-year and 7% quarter-over-quarter to 33.9 million units, which resulted in a record 117.9 million units being sold in 2009 versus 100.7 million units in 2008. Yearly sales increased 13.5% to $ 14.2 billion, with the handset division seeing an increase of 17.3% year-over-year to $13.4 billion.
On a global basis, LG expects sales growth -- especially from LCD TVs on a U.S. dollar base -- as a result of conversion to digital TV in developed markets and increased demand due to World Cup soccer and Olympic Games in 2010.
The company also expects profitability to improve year-over-year, driven by premium products in home entertainment and home appliances. As announced earlier, the company is aiming for $51.3 billion in sales for 2010 and plans to invest $3.1 billion for new investments.
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