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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
Flat screens help lift LG profits
71 inch LG flat screen plasma TV
LG's flat screens are in demand
Demand for flat screen TVs helped South Korean group LG Electronics almost double first quarter profits.

The group said profits for the three months to 31 March jumped 92.8% to 160.4bn won ($169.8m,95.1m) compared with 83.2bn won a year earlier.

A strong performance at its flat-screen joint venture with Philips helped LG overcome weakness at its mobile phone unit where it is battling low margins.

Sales dipped to 15.6 million units from 16.2 million in the previous quarter.

However, mobile phone sales remained higher than a year ago when they came in at 11 million. LG is the world's fourth largest mobile phone maker.

Weak margins

Currency concerns also weighed on the business, which relies on exports for three-quarters of its sales, with the stronger won leading to tighter margins.

The won is 4.5% stronger than it was at the same time last year.

But a recovery at the firm's joint venture with Philips Electronics, LG Philips, which makes flat screen panels for computers, also helped boost earnings. It posted a profit of 48bn won for the first quarter, compared to a 79bn won loss during the same period last year.

Looking ahead, the firm was confident mobile sales would pick up as it begins to export its "chocolate" phone.

The slim LG5900 handset with a sliding keyboard has become a best seller in Korean market following its launch in November last year.


SEE ALSO:
Firms slash flat-screen TV prices
01 Dec 05 |  Business
Samsung profits hit by low prices
15 Apr 05 |  Business
Philips hit by flat-screen fall
18 Apr 05 |  Business
Electronics firms eye plasma deal
07 Feb 05 |  Business
Sony and Samsung in patent deal
14 Dec 04 |  Business


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