SEOUL (AFP) -South Korea’s LG Electronics said Thursday its net profit last year soared 125 per cent, boosted by surging sales of its flagship smartphones and television sets. Net income reached 501.3 billion won ($462 million) in 2014, compared with 222.7 billion won a year earlier. Operating profit, meanwhile, was up 46 per cent to 1.82 trillion won, with sales rising four per cent to 59 trillion won.
The country’s second-largest home appliance and smartphone maker attributed its strong bottom line to upbeat sales of its TV sets and flagship G-series smartphones.
The annual profit surge came despite a 205.7 billion won net loss in the fourth quarter – the result of writing off its plasma TV operations
Fourth-quarter operating profit, however, soared 28 per cent year-on-year to 275.1 billion won, and sales rose 4.9 per cent to 15.3 trillion won. Last year LG’s mobile division reported a 16 per cent increase in annual revenue to 15.06 trillion won mainly thanks to increased shipments to North America.
Of 78.2 million mobile handsets sold last year, it shipped 59.1 million smartphones, up 24 per cent from the previous year.
LG had been hit by sluggish handset sales and losses for years, but it swung back to profit from 2012. This year the company vowed to improve its brand power for smartphones, citing tough competition abroad. Last year LG’s home appliance sector also saw stronger sales in Europe and emerging markets, offsetting slower sales in North America. The company called for more energy efficient products and improved cost competitiveness in its home appliance business, forecasting sluggish demand this year.