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LG's mobile division turns $10.7 million Q4 profit, but records $251 million overall loss in FY2011

LG's mobile division turns $10.7 million Q4 profit, but records $251 million overall loss in FY2011
A year to forget for LG had a silver lining as the final quarter of 2011 saw the Korean tech giant's mobile operations finally turn a profit.

LG's Mobile Communications unit made an operating profit of KRW 10 billion (around $10.7 million) during Q4 from sales of KRW 2.8 trillion ($2.5 billion).

That actually represents a yearly fall of 17.9 percent, but is up on Q3's figure, when the division lost KRW 139 billion ($124 million).

Smart money on smartphones

For 2011 in full, however, the picture is far less rosy.

2011 revenue fell by 9.9 percent annually to KRW 11.7 trillion ($10.4 billion), with the division turning an overall loss for the year of KRW 281 billion ($251 million).

But what's interesting is that the unit's Q4 profit came at a time when handset shipments declined quarter on quarter to 17.7 million units, with "better smartphone sales" enabling the firm to generate more cash per sale than on its legacy line-up of feature phone devices.

LG has also cited "improved efficiency in operations", laying out an intention to "strengthen [its] position in the handset business and improve profitability by focusing on strategic markets" in 2012 as well as kick-starting an expansion to its range of LTE equipped devices.

Overall, LG's entire business turned an operating profit of KRW 23 billion ($20.5 million) in Q4, with 2011's overall operating profit coming in at KRW 280 billion ($250 million).

[source: LG (PDF)]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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