LG Sees Fourth-Quarter Profit Plunge as Rivals Crowd TV Business

LG Sees Fourth-Quarter Profit Plunge as Rivals Crowd TV Business

South Korea’s LG Electronics posted its slowest quarterly profit growth in two years on Thursday citing higher marketing costs and tougher competition in the television business.

Fourth-quarter operating profit plummeted 80 percent from a year earlier to KRW 76 billion ($68.5 million), in line with its earlier guidance, the company said. Revenue fell 7 percent to KRW 15.8 trillion, matching the company’s estimate.

Widening losses in the company’s struggling mobile business also dragged down profit, analysts said.

“LG Electronics’ mobile business has not been generating profits at all. On top of that, high marketing expenses for its slow-selling handset models hurt the overall profit,” said Eo Kyu-jin, an analyst at eBest Investment and Securities.

Competition in the high-end television set market, particularly from Chinese rivals, as well as global economic headwinds are clouding the outlook for LG Electronics, analysts said.

LG’s share price fell 1.5 percent in a flat broader market on Thursday after the results were released.