LG posts $148.5M loss, predicts rise in handset sales

LG Electronics posted a $148.5 million net loss, way down from its $312.6 million profit in the year-ago period. However, the South Korean electronics giant pointed to increased optimism in the handset market for the coming quarter.

The company, which is the world's third largest handset maker, said it expects handset shipments to rise by more than 10 percent in the second quarter on a sequential basis, despite continued weakness in the handset market. The company said it expects the overall handset market to contract 10 percent, or 260 million units, in 2009.

"LG sees the global market declining over 10 percent year-on-year to around 260 million [handsets] in the second quarter. [But] LG is targeting over 10 percent growth quarter-on-quarter by focusing on high-tier, feature-rich products," the company said in a release.

LG shipped 22.6 million handsets in the first quarter, down from 25.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2008. However, the handset unit's operating margin rose to 6 percent, up from from 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 3.64 percent in the year-ago quarter.

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