LG Electronics announced lower than expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday, with profits in its TV division to be significantly lower than last year's.
The company announced consolidated revenues of KRW 50.96 trillion (USD 45.22 billion) and a net profit of KRW 91 billion (USD 80.75 million) for full-year 2012. Despite a 6 percent revenue decrease from 2011, operating profits increased significantly in 2012 to KRW 1.14 trillion (USD 1.01 billion) from KRW 379 billion (USD 342.06 million) in full-year 2011.
Fourth quarter 2012 consolidated revenues were KRW 13.50 trillion (USD 12.37 billion) with an operating profit of KRW 107 billion (USD 98.08 million). A net loss of KRW 468 billion (USD 428.96 million) reflects a fine related to cathode-ray tube pricing issues imposed by the European Commission to the company in December.
LG reported record sales of flat-panel TVs with 9.3 million units in the fourth quarter resulting in a 17.4 percent revenue increase quarter-on-quarter to KRW 6.44 trillion (USD 5.91 billion) and full-year operating profit of KRW 542 billion (USD 480.92 million). Revenues from 3D and Smart TVs increased with higher unit sales in the United States, Europe and CIS countries. Although the Home Entertainment Company had the strongest quarter of the year in terms of revenue, profitability declined somewhat due to lower average selling prices and increased competition. LG plans to continue to aggressively market 3D and Smart TVs and plans to expand its share of the premium TV segment in 2013 with Ultra HD TVs and OLED TVs.
LG reported a 7 percent unit increase quarter-on-quarter in mobile handset shipments to 15.4 million with more than half of the units coming from smartphones. Smartphone shipments grew 23 percent compared to the previous quarter, increasing to 8.6 million devices from the 7 million in the third quarter. Fourth quarter revenues were the highest of the year, growing 15 percent to KRW 2.81 trillion (USD 2.58 billion) quarter-on-quarter. Sales of premium LTE smartphones such as Optimus G and Vu:2 increased in the fourth quarter, as did the L-series and Google Nexus 4. With more European and emerging markets introducing LTE services this year, LG plans to increase smartphone revenues and market share by launching follow-up devices to Optimus G and the L-series as well as the new F-series.
The LG Home Appliance Company posted almost flat revenues year-on-year, with sales of KRW 2.94 trillion (USD 2.7 billion) in the fourth quarter as strong sales in the U.S. and CIS countries were largely offset by sluggish demand in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Profitability was affected by unfavorable foreign exchange rates and increased marketing investments, even though average selling prices for home appliance products rose in the fourth quarter.
The LG Air Conditioning & Energy Solutions Company reported sales of KRW 683 billion (USD 626 million) in the fourth quarter, essentially unchanged year-on-year. An operating loss of KRW 11 billion (USD 10.08 million) in the quarter showed improvement from the same period last year due to operational efficiencies. For full-year 2012, the company recorded revenues of KRW 4.35 trillion (USD 3.86 billion) and operating profit of KRW 156 billion (USD 138.42 million). LG's priority in 2013 will be to introduce more energy-efficient and localized products to bolster revenue growth.
For 2012, LG Electronics is targeting a revenue goal of KRW 53.5 trillion with plans to spend KRW 2.5 trillion in capital expenditures.