LG widescreen TVs lift profits

LG Electronics yesterday posted a four-fold rise in operating profits riding on better-than-expected flat-screen television sales, helping it to achieve the best quarterly results in the company’s history.

The group’s fourth quarter profits, including overseas affiliates, rose to £238m from £54m a year earlier outperforming analysts’ estimates of £215m.

LG is the world’s second largest maker of Liquid Crystal Digital (LCD) televisions and the company said yesterday it is targeting a 54 per cent increase in LCD TV shipments this year.

The electronics giant says the numbers are the result of “the company’s successful strategy and competitiveness during the current recession”.

“On the whole, profitability increased due to higher sales and more aggressive cost management,” a spokesman for the company added.

But, while LG is still the third biggest phone maker in the world, analysts say it is lagging behind players like Apple in the Smartphone race. Its profits from mobile phone sales have dipped by 7.4 per cent since the last quarter.

As the global economy pulls out of recession, LG expects the current upward trend in its revenues to continue.

In a statement the company said: “Market demand is expected to rise as the global economy begins to emerge from the recession.”

It added: “On a global basis, LG Electronics expects sales growth – especially from LCD TVs on a US dollar base – as a result of conversion to digital TV in developed markets and increased demand due to World Cup soccer and Olympic Games in 2010.”