LG reported another loss for its mobile business in Q4 2017, as it noted a “challenging marketplace and strong competition from Chinese brands”.

Sales from the business during the quarter of KRW3.07 trillion ($2.89 billion) were up 3 per cent year-on-year, and the KRW213.2 billion loss was actually halved from KRW459.3 billion in the prior year. The company noted “strong sales of the LG V30 and other premium smartphones and an improved business structure”.

Smartphone shipments of 13.9 million units were down 1 per cent year-on-year. The company also cited “Google’s new premium OLED phone” as a driver of sales, alongside V30.

The company said that in future, it will look to increase sales by “strengthening premium, mid- to high-end smartphone line-up”, and boost its profitability by improving the product mix. It also said it will “reinforce cost competitiveness through platform and modular activities and strengthen brand and quality of the products”.

Recent reports suggest the vendor will not launch its next flagship device at Mobile World Congress during February 2018, having decided to “review the new product from scratch”.

It was suggested the company was looking to move away from its twice-yearly flagship release schedule, in an effort to extend the lives of its high-end smartphones.

For the full year, LG’s mobile unit reported a net loss of KRW717.2 billion, down from KRW1.22 trillion, on revenue of KRW11.67 trillion, down from KRW12.02 trillion.

Other units
Away from mobile, things looked a lot better for LG in Q4. Operating profit of KRW383.5 billion in the Home Entertainment unit more than doubled from KRW164 billion, while revenue of KRW5.48 trillion was up 14 per cent.

And in Home Appliance and Air, operating profit of KRW80.7 billion was down from KRW146.8 billion due to marketing costs, infrastructure investments in North America, and “R&D expenditures related to AI appliances and robots”. Revenue of KRW4.33 trillion was up 7 per cent.

On a group level, Q4 operating profit of KRW366.8 billion compared with a prior-year loss of KRW35.2 billion, on sales of KRW16.96 trillion, up 15 per cent.

LG’s full year profit of KRW2.47 trillion, up 85 per cent year-on-year, was the highest since 2009, “due in large part to strong performance by premium home appliances and TVs”. Sales of KRW61.4 trillion, up 10.9 per cent, were the highest in LG’s history.