LG posts profit amid higher sales

LG Electronics Inc., a global leader in flat screen televisions and mobile phones, booked a net profit in the fourth quarter of 2009 following a record loss the year before amid an increase in sales and better performance at affiliate LG Display Co.

LG Electronics, the world’s second-biggest seller of flat screen TVs, earned 297.24 billion won ($255.52 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31. The company reported a loss of 671.3 billion won the same period the year before, its biggest ever amount of quarterly red ink.

The Associated Press calculated LG’s fourth-quarter net profit figure based on the company’s regulatory filing for 2009 full-year non-consolidated results made Tuesday.

LG did not provide a breakdown for the fourth quarter in the filing, but spokeswoman Judy Pae provided a similar net profit figure upon request.

Sales rose 7.7 percent to 7.1 trillion won from 6.59 trillion won a year earlier.

In its regulatory filing, LG cited equity method gains from overseas subsidiaries and its display affiliate as contributing to full-year net profit. An equity method gain or loss is the positive or negative earnings contribution from related companies.

LG Electronics owns a 37.9 percent stake in LG Display Co., the world’s second-largest manufacturer of liquid crystal displays used in flat screen televisions and other products. LG Display said last week it recorded a net profit of 478 billion won in the fourth quarter after a loss the year before as sales rose and prices for its flat panels increased.

LG Electronics planned to release consolidated earnings results based on its global operations Wednesday and provide more details. LG, however, does not release a consolidated net profit figure, only operating profit.

The company is the world’s second-biggest seller of flat screen televisions globally behind South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co. It ranks No. 3 in mobile phones behind top seller Nokia Corp. of Finland and Samsung, which ranks No. 2.

For all of 2009, LG said it recorded a net profit of 2.05 trillion won, quadrupling from 482.79 billion won in 2008.

Sales rose 10.4 percent to 30.51 trillion won from 27.64 trillion won the year before.

Shares in LG Electronics, which released results after the stock market closed, fell 0.9 percent to 108,000 won.

Associated Press