​LG Electronics hits eight-year high Q1 profit but mobile still struggling

LG Electronics has reported that its operating profit rose 82 percent to 922 billion won in the first quarter of 2017.

LG Electronics announced on Thursday that its first-quarter operating profit for 2017 reached 921.5 billion won, up 82 percent from the 505.2 billion won reported in the previous corresponding period and its highest since 2009.

Revenue rose 9.7 percent from 13.4 trillion won to 14.7 trillion won for the same quarter.

The South Korean giant once again credited its financial growth to strong sales generated from its home appliance and air solutions division, particularly in Asia and Latin America.

Sales of its high-end washing machines, air conditioners, refrigerators, clothes management systems, and air purifiers helped the appliances division rake in 520.8 billion won in operating profit from January to March, up from the 407.8 billion won reported in the previous corresponding period.

Meanwhile, the company's mobile communications division remained in the red for the eighth consecutive quarter, reporting a 200 million won operating loss. After stumbling last year with the modularity of the G5, LG expects mobile losses to narrow down in the coming quarters as sales of its G6 smartphone, which began in March, pick up alongside a demand for mass-tier models.

In a bid to strengthen its mobile communications business, earlier this year LG also announced that it would adopt machine learning, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence technologies so that it can provide remote after-sales services for its smartphone users.

The company said by using these technologies, app diagnoses will improve over time, data will be processed faster, and LG will be able to offer services that are customised for the individual consumer.

LG's vehicle components division reported a 14.5 billion won operating loss, with the company advising that continued investments in R&D and growth are expected to continue to affect the division's profitability this year.

The company's home entertainment division booked 382.2 billion won in profit, up from the 335.2 billion won reported in Q1 2016. The company explained that higher panel costs were offset by growing demand for larger-sized premium televisions, particularly in North America, Latin America, and Asia.

The company's global full-year operating profit for the period ended December 31, 2016 was 1.34 trillion won, a 12.2 percent increase from the previous corresponding period.

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