LG Electronics reports loss in 4Q on plasma TV business closure, operating income up

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SEOUL, South Korea — LG Electronics Inc. said Thursday it has lost money in the fourth quarter as costs from the closure of its plasma TV operations offset a recovery in its mobile phone business.

The Korean company reported a net loss of 205.7 billion won ($189 million) for the October-December quarter.

Operating income, which is a measure of profit before tax, interest and one-time expenses are deducted, rose 28 percent to 275 billion won ($253 million) on revenue of 15.3 trillion won ($14 billion).

LG said its home appliance business contributed most to its quarterly income, followed by its mobile phone business. LG's quarterly smartphone sales increased 18 percent from a year earlier to 15.6 million phones, it said.

LG stopped making plasma TVs in November to focus on more popular OLED and LCD TVs.

For the full year, LG had a 31-percent increase in annual operating income thanks to solid growth in its TV business and a recovery in smartphone sales.

The company still lags behind Apple, Samsung and Chinese smartphone makers, but its 2014 operating income from mobile phones quadrupled from a year earlier to the highest level in four years.

Its flagship G3 smartphone, launched last year, was well received. LG kicked off this year with local sales of the G Flex 2, the second iteration of its curved smartphone as it tries to overcome the weakness of its smartphone brand by offering distinctive features.

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