LG Electronics Inc reported yesterday its fourth-quarter profit nearly doubled on robust handset sales and strong results at liquid-crystal display (LCD) maker LG Philips LCD Co, in which it holds a major stake.
The world's fourth-largest maker of mobile phones by volume and South Korea's biggest manufacturer of home appliances said net profit jumped 91 percent to 312.2 billion won (US$318.3 million) in the final quarter of last year, the company said in a statement.
Sales at the company fell 5.2 percent to 6.18 trillion won from 6.52 trillion won a year earlier as a stronger won made its products less competitive overseas.
The profit result was far better than expected by analysts, who had forecast sales would decline 4.2 percent to 6.26 trillion won.
LG Philips LCD, one of the world's top makers of liquid-crystal displays, reported earlier this month that its fourth-quarter profit soared from the year before on strong demand for LCDs used in hot selling flat-screen televisions.
It said it earned 328 billion won in the three months ended Dec. 31, up from 35 billion won from a year earlier.
LG Electronics owns a 37.9 percent stake in LG Philips LCD, which competes with South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co for dominance in liquid-crystal displays.
Separately, LG Electronics said yesterday it would invest 101 million euros (US$124 million) by 2011 to build a home appliance and LCD TV plant in Poland.
The company signed an investment contract on Monday in Poland's Kobierzyce City with the Polish government to build a plant in Wroclaw, 340km southeast of Warsaw.
With an annual production capacity of 500,000 refrigerators and 3.5 million LCD TVs, the plant will create 5,000 new jobs.
"The investment will help boost the Polish economy and strengthen LG's competitiveness in Europe," president and CEO of LG Electronics Wroclaw, Yoon Byeng-Do, said in a statement.
Construction will start early this year and production at the plant is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year.
The plant in Wroclaw will be LG's 14th overseas production facility, including two existing digital TV plants in Poland's Mlawa.
LG also has manufacturing facilities in two South Korean cities, Mexico, Britain, Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Egypt.