LG Posts Record October Sales, Raises Plasma TV Target
Nov 22, 2004
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LG Electronics Inc. rang up record monthly sales in October after shipping third-generation (3G) mobile phones to Hutchison and Orange and forecast it would become the top plasma television maker by 2006.

But its shares fell 5.3 percent to 63,900 won (approx. U.S. $60.10), hit by a stronger Korean won and falls in U.S. stocks. The broader market shed 2.2 percent.

South Korea's LG, considered the number-two plasma TV producer in 2003, said it aimed to grab a 20-percent market share to overtake current leader Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. of Japan.

Matsushita and LG had 15.1 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively, of the plasma TV market in 2003, according to research firm iSuppli.

LG also launched the world's largest plasma TV, with a screen measuring 71 in (180 cm) diagonally, just months after Panasonic products maker Matsushita released 65-in TV sets. The two are in a legal dispute over alleged plasma patent infringements.

LG, which is also said to be the world's top maker of air-conditioners, recorded total sales of 2.35 trillion won (approx. U.S. $2.2 billion) for October, up 15 percent from September.

The company, the world's fifth-largest mobile phone maker, sold 5.09 million phones last month, up 27 percent from September and 68 percent from a year earlier. It is gaining from sales of pricey 3G phones to telecoms giants like Hutchison Whampoa and France Telecom's Orange.

"Handset sales jumped in October thanks to shipments to Hutchison Whampoa and Orange. We just started shipping videophones to Orange in October," an LG official told Reuters.

Earlier this month, LG said it had added Spain's Telefonica Moviles to its list of 3G phone customers. (Reuters)

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