LG Electronics today announced sales of 63.26 trillion won ($56.45 billion), up 1.53 percent from the previous year, and sales of 18.78 trillion won ($16.76 billion) for the fourth quarter ended March 31. December 2020, up 16.9 percent from the same quarter last year.

In 2020, the company’s operating income reached a record 3.20 trillion won ($2.85 billion), up 31.1% from 2019, mainly due to increased sales of high-end home appliances and OLED televisions, as well as strong growth in automotive component solutions.

For the fourth quarter of 2020, operating profit was 650.20 billion won ($580.19 million), up 538.7 percent from the previous year, while net profit was 262.3 billion won, compared with a loss of 849.8 billion won the previous year.

Although COVID-19 and sluggish economic recovery remain challenges for 2021, LG said it expects the global economy to normalize thanks to the prudent fiscal policies of world governments and successful immunization. By 2021, core technologies such as AI, 5G, IoT and mobility will be widely used in various LG business areas.

The mobile phone sector recorded annual sales of 5.22 trillion won ($4.66 billion). In the fourth quarter, revenue was 1.39 trillion won ($1.24 billion), up 4.9% from a year ago but down 9.2% from the previous quarter due to a shortage of 4G chips and weak sales of high-end smartphones in overseas markets.

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Operating loss for the full year was 841.20 billion won ($750.63 million) due to higher marketing investments to support flagship devices, partially offset by lower fixed costs resulting from improved manufacturing efficiencies.

The operating loss was 248.5 billion won, extending the decline to 23 consecutive quarterly losses, but down from a loss of 332.2 billion won. Despite lower fixed costs, profitability fell from the previous quarter due to weak sales of luxury products, LG said.

With the advent of the 5G market, global smartphone demand is expected to return to pre COVID-19 levels by 2021, but competition will become fiercer.

There are reports that LG will close its mobile phone business. LG said today that it plans to carefully review the business and its profitability.