LG Elec estimates Q1 profit surged, likely best in almost 8 years

LG Electronics Inc. said Friday its first-quarter operating profit is estimated at 922 billion won (US$812.3 million), a market forecast-beating figure, apparently helped by robust sales of premium electronics coupled with reduced losses from the smartphone business.

The company's components business helped it in the fourth quarter as well.

Lee Jae-yong, known professionally as Jay Y. Lee, has been accused of paying former president Park Geun-hye and her associate some 43 billion won (approximately $49.54 million Canadian) in bribes in order to maximize his control of the Samsung empire. Even though the smartphone is already really popular and it doesn't need any additional marketing, Samsung has just uploaded the first commercial for it.

The scandal has cast a renewed light on the cosy ties traditionally enjoyed by the government and the family-controlled conglomerates known as "chaebols" that dominate the country s economy. Not only is this huge for Samsung, but it's also more than analysts expected them to bring in. "Semiconductor operating profit for the latest quarter is expected at a robust 6.1 trillion won thanks to higher prices of DRAM and NAND chips", said Claire Kim, an analyst from Daishin Securities.

South Korea's LG Electronics Inc estimated on Friday its first-quarter operating profit rose 82 percent to its highest in almost eight years, handily beating market expectations on healthy sales of appliances and televisions.

Song said Samsung was unaware of Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, until after the scandal over their relationship and allegations of influence-peddling surfaced late past year.

"Generally speaking I think the improved product mix in appliances and televisions and the company's efforts to sell high-end products lifted profits", HI Investment analyst Song Eun-jeong said.

Samsung, the world's largest maker of smartphones and display panels, has unveiled the Galaxy S8 smartphone last week, which is set to go on sale later this month.

Samsung is due to give more details of its financial results later this month. Money-losing smartphone division also is estimated to have done better amid expectations for highly innovative G6 flagship. Last week, it presented and began taking preorders for its Galaxy S8, its first major smartphone launch since the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

  • Carolyn Briggs