LG Q4 numbers still in red, but loss smaller

Korean company sees US$99.3 million net loss in fourth quarter but results still better than previous quarter; growth in home entertainment and appliances cushions loss.

Korean consumer electronics company LG reported a net loss of 112 Korean billion won (US$99.3 million) in its fourth-quarter earnings release, reaching a total net loss of 433 billion won (US$384 million) for the financial year 2011.

However, the  fourth-quarter loss was much lower than the company's third quarter when it saw losses totaling 414 billion won (US$367.2 million). Sales in the fourth quarter increased 7.1 percent to 13.8 trillion won (US$12.3 billion), compared to 12.9 trillion won (US$11.4 billion) in the third quarter, the report noted.

During the fourth quarter, home entertainment and home appliances were the only two product categories to see double-digit growth in sales. Home entertainment grew 17.6 percent quarter-on-quarter, while home appliances grew 10.5 percent compared to the third quarter.

LG explained that the growth in home entertainment was due to "strong seasonal [sales] and marketing efforts". The company's flat panel TV saw demand growth in North America, Europe and Latin America, and strong premium product sales boosted the growth of the product category, it noted.

For the home appliances product category, LG said sales in its domestic market grew due to "strengthened product competitiveness in large size and energy efficient products". It added that growth in overseas markets was maintained thanks to recovery in the U.S. market and growth in developing countries, despite continued economic slowdown in Europe and contractions in the Chinese economy.

LG's handset division saw quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.2 percent. The company reported a decline in fourth-quarter shipment to 17.7 million, but said revenue increased to 2.8 trillion won (US$2.5 billion) due to smartphone sales. The smartphone division grew because of an improved product mix of strong premium handsets such as the Optimus LTE and "solid" sales growth from existing smartphone models, it said.


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