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Earnings

LG Electronics' 2020 sales, operating profit hit all-time highs

By Jan 29, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Home appliances made by LG Electronics
Home appliances made by LG Electronics

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. on Friday posted record 2020 operating profit and revenue, boosted by robust sales in its home appliance division amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full-year operating profit surged 31% to an all-time high of 3.2 trillion won ($2.86 billion), while revenue increased 1.5% to a record 63.26 trillion won. Net profit rose tenfold to 2 trillion won, according to a regulatory filing on Jan. 29.

Its home appliance division earned 2.35 trillion won, accounting for 62% of its total operating profit in 2020.

Operating profit in the last three months of 2020 alone rose nearly sixfold to 650.2 billion won, marking its highest ever for a fourth quarter, as revenue rose 17% on year to 18.78 trillion won.

The company also swung to a net profit of 262.3 billion won in the October-December period from a net loss of 849.8 billion won in the year-earlier period.

LG said it expects home appliance demand to grow further this year, especially in the premium product segment.

Graphics by Jerry Lee
Graphics by Jerry Lee

MOBILE BUSINESS CONTINUES TO POST LOSSES

The company’s mobile business unit logged 248.5 billion in operating loss in the fourth quarter, although it marked an improvement from a loss of 332.2 billion won a year earlier. The unit's sales increased 4.9% on-year to 1.38 trillion won.

For all of 2020, the business’s operating loss totaled 841.2 billion won on higher marketing costs to promote its flagship devices.

LG's mobile business has been in the red since the second quarter of 2015. With its accumulated operating loss reaching nearly five trillion won, LG has said it is looking to sell off its struggling smartphone division to focus on other future-oriented businesses such as supplying advanced technology for makers of EVs and self-driving cars.

"Our mobile-related technology is an important asset not only for handsets but also for smart appliances and automotive solutions," a company executive said during an earnings conference call with analysts.

“We are looking at various options to respond to the global technology trend in a timely manner.”

Write to Hyung-Suk Song at click@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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