• Road to riches

    Taxpayers keep funding structures with big plans but who knows what efficacy, says Mandi Smallhorne.

  • Don't fall for Ponzi scams

    An expert unpacks the tell-tale signs to watch out for.

  • Inside Labour

    A smokescreen of misleading rhetoric won't make SA's problems go away, says Terry Bell.

See More

LG misses forecasts as TV profits tumble

Jan 30 2013 09:16 Reuters

(Ahn Young-joon, AP)

Related Articles

Samsung, LG fined $38.5m for price-fixing

LG Electronics swings back in the black

LG accused of tax cheating in SA

Fitch cuts Sony, Panasonic ratings to junk

LG fights tax fraud charge

TV makers contest format decision


Seoul - LG Electronics Inc fell short of consensus forecasts in quarterly earnings on Wednesday, with profits in its TV division tumbling to around one tenth of year-earlier levels as the world's number two TV maker bumped up promotional spending in the year-end holiday season.

LG is set to face a challenging year with forecasts from research firm DisplaySearch calling for flat global TV sales on economic uncertainty and as many households in developed economies already own a flat-screen TV.

Currency rates also look unfavourable. The won has strengthened, reducing the value of earnings made abroad while weakness in the yen has boosted the price competitiveness of Japanese rivals.

LG's October-December operating profit came in at 107bn won ($98.84m), up 25% from a year earlier but below a consensus forecast for 151bn won by 32 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

The result was broadly in line with a 116bn won profit forecast by Thomson Reuters StarMine's SmartEstimate, which places more emphasis on timely projections from the most accurate analysts.

It was the first time LG reported under new South Korean accounting rules, resulting in changes to year-earlier figures.

LG said the profit margin at its TV business declined for a second straight quarter to 0.3% from 0.8% in the previous quarter and 5.7% in the second quarter. The increase in marketing costs coincided with greater price competitiveness from Japanese rivals who have benefited from weakness in the yen.

Shares in LG have been almost flat over the past three months, underperforming a 3% gain in the wider market . Prior to the results, its shares rose 0.7%, in line with a 0.5% rise for the broader market.

LG reported a 468bn won net loss after booking provisions related to cathode ray tube TV price fixing charges. 

In December, the European Commission imposed the biggest antitrust penalty in its history, fining six firms including LG, Philips, Panasonic and others a total of €1.47bn for running two cartels for nearly a decade. 

Also hanging over LG is the prospect that a nascent recovery in its struggling smartphone business may slow due to intensifying competition from aggressive Chinese players such as Huawei and ZTE. Apple Inc is also rumoured to be preparing a cheaper iPhone.

LG has struggled to break into the high-end smartphone market, which Apple and Samsung dominate. In the fourth-quarter it sold 15.4 million handsets, lifting its mobile business profit to 55bn won, versus a 2.5bn won loss a year ago.

Keen to steal a march on rivals and burnish its reputation for TV technology, LG this month started taking pre-orders for its next-generation 55-inch TV that uses OLED technology, allowing for thinner displays that consume less power.

The TV, however, commands a $10,000 sticker price and will probably not be boosting profit margins anytime soon. 

LG is also expanding sales of 84-inch ultra high-definition sets, which boast four times better picture quality than full HD models.

LG has 18% of the global TV market, trailing sector leader Samsung Electronics which has around 21% of the market. 

Japanese makers are led by the likes of Sony, Panasonic and Sharp, controlling around 30%. 

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

lg electronics


Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

People who fall victim to Ponzi scams are:

Previous results · Suggest a vote