LG posts loss despite record phone sales

LG Electronics posted its first net quarterly loss since 2007, but the company's handset division was a bright spot on the company's balance sheets as it shipped 25.7 million phones in the fourth quarter.

As a whole, the company swung to a net loss of $488.3 million for the quarter, compared to a net profit of $452 million in the same period last year. The handset division posted $3.3 billion in sales for the quarter, up 34.6% and shipped 25.7 million units, up from 23 million from the third quarter and up 8% over the fourth quarter of 2007.

The company met the expectations it had set in the third quarter, when it predicted it would ship 100 million units in 2008. The company said it shipped 100.7 million units for the year, but it also said shipments could be down 3% in 2009.

A report yesterday in DigiTimes said LG surpassed Motorola for third place among handset makers in terms of worldwide shipments in 2008.

LG said it would tighten capital spending in 2009. The company's handset division remains strong, and as losses from other sectors of LG's business like its LCD display division mount, it could mean that LG will be relying more on its handset division to boost the company's bottom line.

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