LG Group targets US$136b sales in 2011

South Korea’s LG Group has announced that that it aims at a record 156 trillion won (US$136 billion) in sales next year by strengthening its electronics, chemical and mobile businesses and accelerating overseas market expansion.

Korea’s fourth-largest business group plans to increase its sales revenue by 11 per cent from an estimated 141 trillion won for this year. It posted 125 trillion won in sales in 2009.

LG said it wants to drive more than three-quarter of its sales from overseas markets next year. Under the plan, the amount would reach $107.3 billion, up more than 18 per cent from this year’s estimated $90.5 billion.

By division, its electronics units aim to boost their combined sales by 13 per cent to 97.3 trillion won in 2011 from this year, making up about 62 per cent of the total revenue.

To reach the goal, the group will strengthen its home appliance, display and handset units, while creating business opportunities in new growth engine areas such as solar cell, light-emitting diodes and batteries for electric vehicles.

LG Chairman Koo Bon-moo said early this month that the group has to promptly prepare for the future, stressing the need for timely investment in new growth engine businesses.

Its flagship LG Electronics struggled to catch up with rivals in the rapidly evolving mobile phone market. The smartphone race took a toll on the firm’s profits this year.

The firm is gearing up to bounce back more aggressively next year with “Optimus 2X,” an upgrade version of its “Optimus One” and the first smartphone to run on a dual-core processor.

It also said that it is planning to add other premium models in its smartphone lineup and introduce a tablet computer.

For home appliances, the electronic giant will intensify its share in emerging markets such as Brazil and Africa.

LG Display, the world’s second-largest panel maker, said it plans to sell up to 40 million flat-screen televisions to secure its stance in the market.

It will also boost smart TV sales by increasing production to at least one-third of the total TV line.

LG Innotek, the group’s electronics component division, said it is seeking to reinforce its competitiveness in LED business. It will target the global market through strategic partnerships.

The group’s chemical business led by LG Chem, the nation’s largest chemical firm, aims to post 27.3 trillion won in sales revenue next year, up 7 per cent from this year.

LG Chem said it will strive to keep competitive costs in the petrochemical field and expand value-added products to secure high profitability.

LG Hausys, the group’s manufacturer of interior parts and materials, looks to scale up overseas sales next year in core markets like China and the US.

LG Life Sciences will also step up investments to become a global player, targeting emerging markets including China, India and the Middle East.

It also plans to jump in the biosimilars market next year.

The group added that it expects to fetch 31.4-trillion won in revenue in telecommunications and services. The figure is up 6 per cent on-year, and accounts for 20 per cent of the sales goal.

LG Uplus, the country’s smallest wireless operator, aims to become a leader in building the fourth generation network next year.

The firm said it is preparing to set up the world’s largest Wi-Fi network in Korea, named “U+ Zone.” It will also invest more in convergence services that marry mobile communications with information technology, while tightening its smartphone line-up, the group added.

LG Group said early this month it plans to scale up spending by 12 per cent to a record 21 trillion won in 2011, from 18.8 trillion won this year.

It will invest 16.3 trillion won in facilities upgrade and 4.7 trillion won in research and development, the group said.


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